The second season of the musical drama series “Smash” will featureSheryl Lee Ralph guest-starring as the mother of a stage diva played by the previously announced new cast member Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
Ralph was the original Deena Jones in Broadway’s Dreamgirls, for which she was Tony Award-nominated in 1982 as Best Actress in a Musical. Hudson won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2007 for playing Effie in the film “Dreamgirls.”
Ralph also created the role of Muzzy in Broadway’s Thoroughly Modern Millieand has starred in films (“The Mighty Quinn”) and TV series (“Moesha,” “Designing Women,” “It’s a Living”).
Vulture.com was the first to report the Ralph news. Playbill.com was able to confirm that Ralph will play Cynthia, who is not an actress or performer but is the mom of Hudson’s stage star Veronica Moore. Hudson is set to appear in a multi-episode arc on “Smash,” including early episodes in season two. Both are new to the series, which is expected to be significantly revamped when it surfaces on NBC in midseason (think January). Josh Safran (“Gossip Girl”) is the new show runner in charge of story, replacing creator Theresa Rebeck. Tony nominee Sean Hayes, Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, Andy Mientus and Tony nominee Daniel Sunjata are among the other newcomers to the cast in season two.
Episodes of season one of “Smash” are available for live streaming on NBC.com.
Did you follow Playbill.com’s weekly episode-by-episode recap, The Smash Report? Here’s the May 2012 column that looks at the season-one finale.