Ivy returns miserably to her featured chorus role in the Tom-and-Julia-penned Heaven on Earth, which we learn stars Norbert Leo Butz. So here, nine episodes in, the show has finally managed cast someone who can sell a musical number other than Nick Jonas. The show looks like a typical Tom and Julia mishmash, with Norbert descending from heaven through a chorus of angels to do a dance number with what appear to be a coterie of hookers, lawyers, Baptist deacons and B-boys in track suits.
Across town, Ellis is attempting to scheme with Jerry's new assistant. He wants the names of the reps for the movie stars who were on the shortlist. My friend Kyle has a theory that the show is trying to make Ellis into some sort of epic, Iago-style villain, but he's just so apple-cheeked and obsequious that it comes off like having your ankles attacked by a chipmunk. Or Reepicheep.
Brooklyn. Shrek is mournfully picking out Julia's Ode to Adultery on the piano. She arrives, wearing a terrible I've Given Up vest. He asks her what's going on, and she says nothing is going on, before finally capitulating, "It's over." Shrek works through a few stages of grief and gets to anger pretty quickly, yelling repeatedly about their eighteen years of marriage. Julia breaks down and Shrek storms off. It takes him like an hour to get to the front door because their brownstone is GIGANTIC. Dude. People have put up with a lot worse for such nice floors.
After all that pathos, we jump to Karen's insane green-screen orange juice commercial. As the director shows her the blocking, an assistant keeps sticking little white squares onto Karen's full-body green suit. I cannot do justice to how bizarre and out-of-place this scene is, except to remark that Karen's diction when she delivers her one line is atrocious.
Shrek is waiting for Not Adam Pascal outside the New York Theatre Workshop. NAP tries to get out of what he intuits will be an ugly confrontation, but Shrek pushes the issue until NAP says, "It was over a long time ago. It should never have started up again." Which devastates poor Shrek even more, because he didn't know about the affair in the Before Times. So he does what an ogre does: he socks NAP right in his pretty rock-star kisser. You kind of deserved it, Not Adam Pascal. Julia should have left you where she found you, in the surefire hit That Bruno Mars Thing at La MaMa.
Ellis and his devious bow tie are having cocktails with movie star Rebecca Duvall's assistant? Or maybe her manager's assistant? Although he has nothing concrete to prove that the Marilyn musical, like, exists, Ellis fancies himself Tom Ripley and continues to spin his crafty little web and mumble to himself about how soon he'll be running this town! I have concluded, with apologies to Jaime Cepero, that I would like Ellis better if he were played by Becki Newton. Or Jeff Hiller. Or basically anyone who wasn't the other side of Karen's bland, clueless, Midwestern coin.