Rachel Bloom Previews Genius Marilyn Monroe Parody at 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Live Show

Giovanni Rufino
Rachel Bloom performs at 54 Below in New York City.

In her TV show, the impossibly original Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom plays Rebecca Bunch, an emotionally confused woman tripping through life in the cultural black hole of West Covina, CA. But the real world is much kinder to Bloom than the fictional one she's created for Bunch. While her character gets entangled in a messy love triangle on the second season of The CW's musical comedy, Bloom herself is a longtime Broadway geek who grew up to win a Golden Globe for starring in a critically adored, one-of-a-kind TV series.

On Thursday (Nov. 3), Bloom was the center of attention and adoration in a room full of New York City theater, TV and music critics (and a few lucky fans) at Manhattan's chic Feinstein's/54 Below for an intimate Broadway Live event. Bloom and co-composer Adam Schlesinger (of Fountains of Wayne) sat down for a freewheeling conversation about everything from parodying Beyonce's Lemonade for the season premiere to how Schlesinger sometimes pretends he knows more about Broadway history than he actually does just to save face in front of Bloom.  

Bloom shared a gem of a behind-the-scenes story about working on set with Tovah Feldshuh (who plays her mother on the show) and this season's guest star Patti Lupone.

"Patti Lupone, and there's no other way to put this, is chill as fuck," Bloom said of the Broadway legend. "Tovah does pushups before every single take -- it gets her in her body. The first time Patti Lupone walks on set, she goes, 'Tovah! What the fuck you doing?'" she said, laughing. "Then later Tovah walks into the hair and makeup trailer and Patti goes, 'Tovah! Drop and give me 10.'"

Aside from the chat, moderated by all-knowing theater critic Seth Rudetsky, Bloom (with Schlesinger on the ivories) performed three songs from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to rapturous applause from the crowd: "You Stupid Bitch," "We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now" and "I'm a Good Person."

As a theater kid and UCB vet, Bloom was unsurprisingly nimble and quick-witted during the chat. The big surprise, though, was how incredible her vocals sounded up close and personal. Usually comedians who sing are merely competent vocalists, but her tempo, pitch and presence were flawless in person.

As great as it was to see her perform live, though, the jaw-dropping moment was when they previewed a song about love triangles that will debut on tonight's (Nov. 4) episode. "Settle For Me" was previously my favorite song from the hysterical series, but this new one is probably the best song they've done to date. Addressing the love triangle Bloom's character finds herself in, the song is a send-up of Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes stuffed full of mathematical puns about triangles. Channeling the ditzy side of Monroe, Bloom blithely coos her way through the song while a troupe of immaculately suited backup dancers correct her erroneous triangle facts and voice their increasing concern for her wellbeing. It's astonishingly clever, laugh-out-loud funny and the kind of thing you want to share with as many people as possible (not unlike the show itself). 

After playing the video for the audience, Bloom said her mother told her it was the best thing she's done yet and emphasized how proud she was of her daughter. "So I'm quitting show business now," Bloom joked. 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.