Smash, which began airing in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Saturday (21 April 2012) revolves around the creation of a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.
Jaffrey plays Dev Sundaram, the live-in boyfriend of Iowan ingenue Karen Cartwright who is favourite for the role of Monroe. As a politico at the Mayor's office, Jaffrey's singing and dancing opportunities are limited but he will perform in a Bollywood number later in the series.
Liverpool-born Jaffrey's West End credits include Mamma Mia! and Bombay Dreams in which he created the role of Akaash. On TV he is best known for playing Zafar Younis in the BBC1 spy drama Spooks.
Jaffrey's stint as Billy Flynn finds him sandwiched between David Bedella (shortly to appear in the Menier Chocolate Factory's revival of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy) and Olympic gold medallist skater Robin Cousins.
Kander and Ebb’s 1975 musical is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins and has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The current production, which transferred from Broadway, is directed by Walter Bobbie and designed by John Lee Beatty, with choreography by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse.
Chicago won the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production as well as the 1998 Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical. The show's West End production moved from the Cambridge to the Garrick Theatre in November 2011 to make way for Matilda the Musical.