Frankfort native stars on NBC show

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - NBC's Smash has enjoyed some success during its freshman season, in part thanks to one of its leads. He's Will Chase -- or Joe DiMaggio in Smash's show-within-a-show "Marilyn" and he's from right here in Kentuckiana.

The pride in their youngest son, Will, could fill Jerry and Betty Chase's whole house in Frankfort.

"We keep lots of stuff," Betty said, proudly showing off pictures from grade school on.

They're mementos of a long, successful Broadway career.

"He was the lead in Full Monty, Lennon, Aida, High Fidelity, Story of My Life, Rent," said Jerry.

That's now turned into a major role on NBC's new breakout show, Smash.

"We heard about it just in passing," Jerry said. "You know, 'I got this,' but you know, he's been making those calls for a number of years."

The Chases have seen their son on stage since he was five. When he decided to make a professional career out of it, they were hopeful he'd make it big.

"We know it's a difficult business," Jerry said. "when we went to his shows in Chicago, he was always really good but we're supposed to think that."

Seeing him make his move to television, is on a whole other level.

"I want to watch him again and again," said Betty. "The first night -- well the fourth episode -- when he was in "Enter Joe DiMaggio", Jerry said, 'Well I'm going up to bed." And I said, 'Well I'm going to keep playing the last four minutes because I wanted to see that song again and again."

She says friends in Will's hometown share their excitement and he hasn't forgotten where he came from.

"I think he's proud of Frankfort too," Betty said," and proud of his friends here, his high school friends. He likes for me to tell them things that he's doing and keep them informed."

They've been to several Smash tapings in New York and promise big things for their son's role now that he's hit the big time.

"We're going to have to see what happens," Betty said. "There are some exciting things that happen. I've been let in on some of them. I couldn't disclose that information."

The Chases got good news last month -- along with the fans Smash has earned along the way.  NBC decided to pick up the show for a second season.

The Chases say that means Will is going to be a regular next season so he can't be in anything else. His parents are hopeful that means he might get to come home more often since he won't have to constantly go to auditions.

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