Jane Krakowski had 1 philharmonic number successful Season 1 of Apple TV+’s “Schmigadoon!” and she performed it from down nan instrumentality of a cramped convertible. It wasn’t overmuch of a stage, but nan Emmy nominee and philharmonic theatre seasoned utilized each inch of nan leather interior to waste her wistful yet seductive song, yet wedging her precocious bottommost into nan steering instrumentality to dependable herself for nan climatic precocious note.
The capacity is impervious that nary number is excessively mini for Krakowski. But bid creator and Emmy-winning songwriter Cinco Paul wanted to springiness her much to do successful Season 2, which puts nan series’ cardinal mates Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) connected nan seedy streets of Schmicago, inspired by 1960s and ’70s musicals for illustration ”Chicago” and “Cabaret.”
It is Krakowski’s favourite philharmonic era, but she was successful nan acheronian arsenic to who she’d play successful Paul’s mashup world of misdeed and showmanship. “Could I still do Sally Bowles, aliases possibly Roxie Hart?” she pondered. “You spell done each these dream scenarios. Would I yet get to play Miss Lovett from ‘Sweeney Todd,’ which is simply a domiciled I’ve ever wanted to do?”
Fortunately, Paul was greedy successful creating her domiciled arsenic Bobby Flanagan, nan show-off lawyer representing Josh successful his proceedings for nan execution of a cabaret singer.
“The infinitesimal I saw location was a vamp written nether maine explaining who I americium arsenic a lawyer, I knew I had waited my full profession for this,” Krakowski says. “Just reference nan script, I didn’t want to beryllium anybody
else successful this.”
Bobby has shades of Roxie and others, but she’s chiefly a gender-flipped homage to “Chicago’s” grandiose lawyer Billy Flynn, whose courtroom prowess is connected afloat show successful Bobby’s large Episode 3 number, “Belles and Whistles.”
“She needed a ‘Razzle Dazzle’ courtroom number for illustration Billy,” Paul says. “But that is simply a slow-paced song. Thematically it tin beryllium ‘Razzle Dazzle,’ but musically I went pinch ‘Dance: Ten, Looks: Three,’ which is jazzy and conscionable moves a batch more.”
The arsenic show-offy number from 1975’s “A Chorus Line” features a young performer’s musings connected really her surgically enhanced features thief her onshore parts. Her assured physicality and frankness suits Bobby’s unflappable position arsenic a lawyer and nan song’s double-entendre title.
But choreographer Christopher Gattelli wanted to tease retired Bobby’s eye-catching marque of persuasion, lacing her early scenes pinch nan Bob Fosse-inspired footwork she will deploy during Josh’s trial.
“We had to build to this moment,” he says of “Belles and Whistles.” “The vamp successful her office. The locomotion into nan jail. When we get to her number, it isn’t a astonishment that she tin move for illustration this because we laid nan groundwork. Then it is an detonation of each that Jane tin do.”
Weeks earlier filming, Krakowski started regular creation warmups to information her body, giving typical information to nan move that seals nan woody connected Bobby’s closing argument. “I started doing nan splits each time truthful thing would rip!” she says.
While Paul’s imagination for “Belles and Whistles” relied heavy connected what Krakowski wanted to do pinch it, nan number ever began pinch Bobby descending into nan courtroom connected a trapeze, a motion to Billy Flynn’s accuracy that juries are swayed by a small razzle dazzle.
But Krakowski went bigger, asking if she could be trapeze schoolhouse to do much than conscionable a expansive entrance.
“Whenever personification gives you nan chance to fly, you should return nan opportunity,” she says.
On her disconnected days, she sent nan producers videos of her progress. After 4 sessions, she had convinced them to build a bigger group and unfastened nan ceiling to accommodate her high-flying caller talent.
Meanwhile, Gattelli focused connected her earthbound footwork, drafting influences from Fosse’s choreography successful “Chicago,” specifically Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon’s “Hot Honey Rag” from nan show’s 1975 Broadway debut. They besides added nan signature outstretched arms and arched airs of “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three” to accentuate her, ahem, belles and whistles.
“My favourite portion of nan number are those elemental Fosse walks she does coming toward nan camera and nan judge,” Gattelli says. “The point astir Jane, she is simply a workaholic. She did not extremity until it was perfect. You tin spot it successful her eyes, it’s for illustration a shark coming aft you.”
Lyrically, Paul infuses “Belles and Whistles” pinch capable ineligible motto to springiness Bobby’s statement a sly cheekiness. His favourite line? “I commencement blowin’, I commencement clangin’, 1 much Joe avoids nan hanging.”
But nary matter really theatrical she gets, Bobby stays existent to nan law. So Paul switches up nan pacing for her summation, which is delivered pinch nan lightning-fast patter of “Getting Married Today” from Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.”
“She keeps repeating nan statement ‘a broad knowledge of nan law,’ and successful that moment, she proves she has it,” Krakowski says. “Even though she flew down from nan ceiling, laid down connected nan assemblage container and everything else, that infinitesimal gives her nan assurance she is simply a bully capable lawyer to propulsion disconnected nan rest.”
Although he questioned if nan modulation from sultry to swift would beryllium jarring for nan audience, he yet knew — for illustration nan full number — Krakowski could make it work.
“Narratively, I worried it’s excessively easy for Josh to conscionable get off,” he says. “But if nan number was a showstopper past nan assemblage will beryllium connected board. And pinch Jane, it was.”
After months of prep, “Belles and Whistles” was changeable successful a azygous day. “And you amended dream it’s 1 of your bully days,” Krakowski laughs.
They began pinch a afloat run-through truthful nan formed and unit knew what to expect. Krakowski was tense to yet show it off, particularly pinch co-stars Strong, Key and Dove Cameron successful nan audience.
“But this emotion benignant of came complete nan room, which I still get moved by because it doesn’t hap each nan time,” she says. “It felt for illustration everybody saw really eager a number we were trying to seizure successful 1 time and everybody brought their A crippled to get each shot.”
Just for illustration her convertible successful Season 1, Krakowski uses each nook and cranny of her courtroom. When she isn’t showering nan assemblage pinch confetti from nan trapeze, she pat dances, roller skates blindfolded, playfully tampers pinch grounds and ends it each successful a well-practiced divided connected nan assemblage container ledge pinch sparklers successful each hand. No stunt double was used.
“Jaws were connected nan level aft each take,” Paul recalls.
Fifteen minutes earlier wrapping, Krakowski climbed backmost connected nan trapeze 1 much clip to guarantee they sewage each angle.
At that moment, her soul theatre kid was down nan wheel, nan aforesaid 1 who wore her original 1979 “A Chorus Line” sweatshirt to nan first Season 2 array read.
“I will ne'er hide ‘Belles and Whistles,’” she says. “I deliberation that astatine my age, nan numbers wherever I get to alert and do splits are going to get less and farther between. It meant a batch to maine that Cinco wrote it for me, and I want it to unrecorded everlastingly for him excessively because these numbers travel on erstwhile successful a lifetime.”
Though, who knows what ceilings her caller trapeze talents person flung open.
She quips, “If they reboot ‘Circus of nan Stars,’ I’m ready.”