‘Smash’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know!

NBC's highly anticipated musical drama, starring Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty, premieres Monday night (February 6).

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month, chances are you have seen a promo for NBC’s new musical drama “Smash.” The show, which has been in development since 2009, revolves around two aspiring Broadway stars — played by “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee and Broadway star Megan Hilty — vying to land the role in a new musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

To get you ready for this highly anticipated new show, here is everything you need to know about “Smash,” premiering Monday night (February 6).

Hollywood and Broadway collide
The show is packed with A-list talent: Hollywood veterans Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston lead the cast, also including Broadway actor Christian Borle and Brian d’Arcy James. Yet, it’s the star power behind the scenes that’s equally as impressive: There are Tony Award winners, Grammy winners and Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg , who came up with the concept of the show.

Let’s also not forget the diverse list of guest stars, who include Uma Thurman, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and Nick Jonas, who is currently starring on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Marilyn Monroe is ready for her close-up
It seems that Marilyn Monroe is having a moment, with Michelle Williams winning a Golden Globe for playing the pinup queen in “My Week With Marilyn,” and now, “Smash” revolving the series around her life.

The two actresses competing to play Marilyn are Ivy, played by Hilty, and Karen, played by McPhee. Viewers might get the sense that the characters’ personalities represent the different phases of Monroe’s life, with Ivy as the bombshell Monroe, and Karen looking more like Norma Jean, the girl next door.

True to Broadway
If you are questioning whether or not the drama portrayed on and off the stage is anything like a real Broadway show, the answer is yes. From the auditioning process to the endless rehearsals and, of course, the backstage drama, Hilty says “Smash” takes only small liberties in enhancing the drama in what is already a cut-throat environment.

“There are so many times I’ve been backstage [on Broadway] and I look around and I’m like, ’Where’s the camera?’ ’cause the drama that’s happening back here is way more interesting than what’s out on that stage,” Hilty told MTV News. “It’s just because when you’re doing a live performance, the adrenaline is pumping and the stakes are really high, so everyone’s really amped up and it literally sets the stage for drama.”

Are you excited for “Smash”? Let us know in the comments!

Christina Garibaldi has been an on-camera reporter for MTV News since 2011. When not interviewing or writing about her favorite stars, she keeps herself busy with baby animal videos and boy bands.
@ChristinaMTV