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Staples Players’ “Smash”

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It’s a Westport — and former Staples Players’ — fest on “Smash” tonight.

Justin Paul

The 9 p.m. NBC show premiere — a 2-hour special — features American Idol’s Katharine McPhee debuting a song written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The highly regarded duo — fresh off their Broadway hit “A Christmas Story: The Musical” — wrote the tune “Caught in the Storm.” It marks their network TV debut as songwriters. Other songs will appear later in the series.

Justin Paul is a 2003 Staples graduate. In high school, he starred in a number of Staples Players productions.

Exactly 30 years earlier, so did David Marshall Grant. He embarked on a long career in movies, on stage and television. These days, he’s an executive producer and writer on “Smash.”

It’s a small entertainment world indeed — but one inhabited by Justin Paul, David Marshall Grant, and millions of TV viewers.

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