Friday, February 8, 2013

Smash: Andy Mientus

I stopped watching Smash at about episode 4 or 5 last season. I has the rest on the DVR for awhile, but after a couple of months I knew that I really didn't have the interest to bother finishing them. It did not bode well for me, that I found the most interesting character to be Raza Jaffrey as Dev Sundaram, who was given the boot at the end of the season. I think the fact the show is set in the Broadway world is a tough sell to begin with, but I also felt my major negativity came from the casting of Katherine MacPhee. Katherine is nice singer, and obviously has some talent, but there is also something intrinsically unlikable about her. I can't put my finger on it, but it is palatable. I think the producers actually might have been better off using this and casting her as Ivy and Megan Hilty, written more as the villain, was hard not to love. Debra Messing was also confusing, it was almost as if the producers surgically removed the energy she brought to the screen when playing Grace.

NBC's relentless promos actually worked, having me tune into Season 2. Not for Jennifer Hudson (whom I love) but for a song. 'Broadway, Here I Come', was used briefly in the promo, and it's haunting melodic quality had me wanting to hear more. Jeremy Jordan sang the song in the season 2 premier and the song, and his incredible voice, did not disappoint. In fact, after the first half hour or so, the show actually picked up and drew me in.

The most interesting, and new, storyline was Karen's meeting Jeremy Jordan's Jimmy and his best friend Kyle played by Andy Mientus. I zeroed in especially on Andy as his character was instantly the more interesting of the two. With just a few scenes, he introduced a complex young writer, obviously deeply love with his best friend, and straight business partner. Although Andy did not get to sing in the episode, with his extensive stage credits, hopefully it is just a matter of time. You may have heard the ratings for the premier were not pretty, but hopefully if word gets out that season 2 is much improved, many might return to what could be a huge season for the show, or a disastrous one! Jeremy Jordan may be getting most of the buzz, but I will tuning back in for Mientus!

Above: Andy with Jonathan Del Arco, Jason Moore and Michael Arden as part of Out's 100 list.

Andy's previous theater credits include: Carrie (MCC Theater), Spring Awakening (Hanschen, 1st National, dir. Michael Mayer), February House (New York Stage and Film, dir. Davis McCallum), Rent (Mark, Pioneer Theatre Company), 2 NYMF Outstanding Individual Performance awards. Readings: new work for The Public, Roundabout, McCarter, Diner (Kathleen Marshall, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson), Bare (as Peter), Let Loose the Horses (score by The Rescues). Recordings: Out of Context by Michael Patrick Walker. Film: Central Park Joker. Training: PA Governors School for the Arts, University of Michigan.


In all my research on Andy, whenever I read an account or review of his work, he was always pointed out as a favorite, someone who stood out in each production he was a part of. He certainly stood out in his first couple of episodes of Smash and I hope he gets many moments to shine!

Crazy Like Me



Spring Awakening



Anonymous said...

I stopped watching season 1 the same time you did. I wanted to love the show but just couldn't get sucked in. I'm not even going to bother with season 2. I'm giving up on NBC.


Anonymous said...

I think you are both dead wrong! I believe the show did over reach...trying to bring Broadway to a general audience, but I think Katherine McPhee is excellent, the wrinting in season I far superior and the song and dance numbers staged beautifully for a TV production. Unfortunately they panicked and tried to make the show more cliche, more accessible.
It no longer feels remotely like New York Theatre characters, and Karen's metamorphesis is too tepid. Though I love Hudson, her character and her star power are distracting to the original story line and the Director, who was one of the best TYV charaters in ages is now a bafoon. Now we Messing Moving in with her partner a la Will and Grace and next week Jack does a cameo.

all I know was the final show of last season was brilliant TV, and McPhee proved herself as a force to reckoned with. The final number was breathtaking. My only regret was that the buxom Ivey, who was more Mansfield than Monroe,didn't follow through with her suicide plans.

Bobby F said...

Andy IS amazing. I saw him in the national tour of SPRING AWSKENING when it came to Austin three years ago. What a great talent.