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StarKid Productions

StarKid Productions
StarKidLogo.png
Formation2009 (2009)
TypeCommunity theatre
PurposeTheatrical productions
Location
Official language
English
AffiliationsUniversity of Michigan, Basement Arts
Websitewww.teamstarkid.com

StarKid Productions, also known as Team StarKid, is an American musical theatre company founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan by Darren Criss, Brian Holden, Matt Lang, and Nick Lang. Widely known for the musical A Very Potter Musical, a parody of the Harry Potter series, the troupe produces musical-comedies inspired by pop culture, with original scripts, songs, and music. StarKid utilizes social media, mainly YouTube, to distribute their content.

StarKid's repertoire additionally consists of albums, concerts, web series, sketch comedies, and books. The company's album Me and My Dick, featuring original songs and music, became the first charting student-produced musical recording on Billboard, debuting at #11 on the "Top Cast Albums" chart in 2010; the following year they landed at #1 on the same chart with the album for Starship.

History

StarKid Productions is composed of actors, writers, directors, composers, choreographers, and designers, most of them originating from the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theater and Dance. The members met while collaborating on plays through Basement Arts, the university's student-run theater organization.

In April 2009, the students staged a musical parody of the Harry Potter series entitled A Very Potter Musical. The video of the play went viral on the Internet, garnering StarKid a worldwide fanbase. Inspired by the viral nature of the video, StarKid Productions was formed, named after a quote from A Very Potter Musical. Later, two sequels followed on YouTube, A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year. [1][2]

The Team StarKid YouTube channel was established on June 19 2009[3]. The channel currently has over 500,000 subscribers and over 200,000,000 combined views[4]. Aside from the viral Harry Potter adaptions, Team StarKid have created a range of other musical theatre parody shows, creating both original stories alongside pop culture-based parodies of Disney, Star Wars, and The Oregon Trail (series).

Musical theater productions

  • A Very Potter Musical, April 2009, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. It is a musical parody of Harry Potter.
  • Me and My Dick, October 2009. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The plot is about a teenage boy who, when going through puberty, becomes best friends with his penis and forgets about his heart.
  • A Very Potter Sequel, May 2010, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. It is a musical parody of Harry Potter, and the sequel to A Very Potter Musical.
  • Starship, February 2011, Chicago, IL. The plot revolves around Bug, hailing from a planet inhabited by insects, and his interactions with the Starship Rangers.
  • Holy Musical [email protected]!, March 2012, Chicago, IL. It is a musical parody of Batman with appearances by other DC Comics superheroes.
  • A Very Potter Senior Year, LeakyCon, Chicago, IL. It is a staged reading of the third musical parody of Harry Potter to come from the troupe.
  • Twisted, July 2013, Chicago, IL. The musical is a Wicked style parody of the 1992 Disney film Aladdin, telling the story from the point of view of Ja'far, the Royal Vizier.
  • Starship: Requiem, August 2, 2014, LeakyCon, Orlando, FL. It was announced on March 31, 2014 through the LeakyCon Twitter feed that StarKid Productions would hold a theatrical reading of their sequel to Starship, Starship: Requiem.[5] The story followed the adventures of Mega-Girl the robot and her half-witted Starship Ranger husband, Tootsie Noodles. The newlyweds are sucked into a black hole of trouble when they go to visit Mega-Girl's human-hating family, including her overbearing mother-unit, her jealous sister-unit and the return of her hunky ex-boyfriend-unit.[6] The reading was a one-time only event.
  • The Trail to Oregon!, July 3–August 10, 2014, Chicago, IL. This musical was announced on April 9, 2014 as a part of StarKid's 2014 Summer Season. The basic premise of the show is a parody of the popular video game series The Oregon Trail.
  • Ani: A Parody, July 3–August 10, 2014, Chicago, IL. This musical was announced on April 9, 2014 as a part of StarKid's 2014 Summer Season. The basic premise of the show is a parody of the popular science-fiction franchise Star Wars.
  • Firebringer, July 6-August 7, 2016, Chicago, IL.Firebringer is StarKid's first female-led show. Like Twisted, it was funded via Kickstarter.[7] The basic plot is about the discovery of fire. It is presented as the company's tenth full-length musical production, as Starship: Requiem was a one-time staged reading.
  • The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, premiered at The Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles, California from October 11 to November 4, 2018.[8] The plot revolves around Paul, who is not a fan of musicals, and how he deals with the world around him as it turns into a musical production. This production features new actors as well as several returning StarKid members. [9]

Sketch comedy productions

  • Airport for Birds: January–March 2013, Chicago, IL. StarKid Productions teamed up with The Second City to produce their first sketch comedy show. The show was produced at the UP Comedy Club.
  • 1Night 2Last 3Ever: September–November 2013, Chicago, IL. StarKid Productions second sketch comedy show with The Second City. The show was produced at the UP Comedy Club. The show was a parody of various pieces of 1990s pop culture centering on the exploits of a fictional boy band, 3Ever.
  • Yes, I am Afraid of the Dark!: September–October 2015, Chicago, IL. StarKid Productions first improv comedy show with iO Chicago and was produced at the iO Theater. The show was a parody of the 1990s children show Are You Afraid of the Dark? with the cast creating an entire episode based on audience suggestion.

Concert tours

  • The SPACE Tour: On September 27, 2011, StarKid Productions announced their first national concert tour: "The SPACE (StarKid Precarious Auditory Concert Experience) Tour". The group performed at 21 stops in 15 cities. The tour began on November 4, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan and ended on November 27, 2011 in New York City. The tour featured songs performed in all their productions and the StarKids who participated were Lauren Lopez, Joey Richter, Joe Walker, Brian Holden, Dylan Saunders, Jaime Lyn Beatty and Meredith Stepien. Darren Criss performed in the Boston and New York shows. Elona Finlay appeared at the Canada shows.[10]
  • Apocalyptour: On April 9, 2012, StarKid Productions announced their second national tour: "Apocalyptour"; titled in reference to the 2012 phenomenon.[11] The tour began in Chicago on May 9, 2012, and finished with a sold-out show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City on June 10, 2012.[12]

Web series

Little White Lie

In 2007, members including Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Eric Kahn Gale, Brian Holden, Darren Criss, Lauren Lopez, Elona Finlay, Chris Allen, Meredith Stepien, and Jim Povolo produced an online video series called Little White Lie. It was released in 2009 on StarKid's YouTube channel.[13] Despite the series ending in a cliffhanger, StarKid members have confirmed at various events that there will be no season 2, as it was an expensive production and the actors who took part in it are scattered all over the country. However, Eric Kahn Gale, one of the writers for the show, stated that he would write and publish a synopsis of season 2, which was released on September 3, 2013 on his Tumblr page.[14]

Movies, Musicals, and Me

In October 2017, StarKid debuted its second web series on YouTube, Movies, Musicals, and Me. The series takes place in an alternate world where every popular movie ever has been adapted into a Broadway musical. The best of these musicals all star the same man, Halpert Evans, a vain and pompous, though brilliant, actor. The series is structured as a mocumentary of Evans, chronicling the most significant musical roles of his career, along with commentary from various colleagues in Halpert's line of work. The series introduces StarKid newcomers Al Fallick as Halpert Evans and Mary Kate Wiles as Judy Davendale. Joey Richter, Nick Lang, Brian Holden, Dylan Saunders, Lauren Lopez, Jamie Lynn Beatty, Corey Dorris, and Clark Baxtresser also star.

Soundtrack albums

Title Album details Notes
Little White Lie[15]
A Very Potter Musical[15]
  • Released: September 9, 2009
  • Formats: Digital download
Made only available for free on Bandcamp, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Me and My Dick (A New Musical)[16][17][15]
  • Released: January 6, 2010
  • Formats: Digital download
Debuting at #11, the album is the first ever student-produced college musical to debut on a Billboard chart.[16]
A Very StarKid Album[17]
  • Released: July 22, 2010
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached at #18 on the Billboard Top Compilation Albums[18][17][19]
A Very Potter Sequel[15]
  • Released: July 31, 2010
  • Formats: Digital download
Made only available for free on Bandcamp, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Starship
  • Released: April 30, 2011
  • Formats: Digital download, Compact disc
Reached at #134 on the Billboard Top Albums chart as well as #1 on Billboard Top Cast Albums chart[20].
The SPACE Tour[21]
  • Released: March 13, 2012
  • Formats: Digital download, Compact disc
Debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums chart[21].
That's What I Call StarKid! Volume 2
  • Released: April 13, 2012
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached at #24 on the Billboard Top Compilation Albums chart[citation needed].
Holy Musical [email protected]!
  • Released: April 13, 2012
  • Formats: Digital download
Made only available for free on Bandcamp, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Apocalyptour[22]
  • Released: October 2, 2012
  • Formats: Digital download, Compact disc
Debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums chart[22].
A Very StarKid Senior Year (A Very Potter Senior Year)
  • Released: December 15, 2012
  • Formats: Digital download
Made only available via the official StarKid store, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Twisted
  • Released: November 28, 2013
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached at #12 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums chart[citation needed].
Ani
  • Released: October 31, 2014
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached #4 on Billboard Comedy Albums.
The Trail to Oregon!
  • Released: February 13, 2015
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached #10 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums[citation needed].
Firebringer
  • Released: November 22, 2016
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached #10 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums[citation needed].
The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals
  • Released: December 24, 2018
  • Formats: Digital download
Reached #6 on the Billboard Top Cast Albums[citation needed].

References

  1. ^ "Team StarKid". StarKid Productions. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (November 1, 2011). "What exactly is Team StarKid?". Chicago Tribune. Bruce Dold. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  3. ^ [www.youtube.com]
  4. ^ [www.youtube.com]
  5. ^ LeakyCon [@LeakyCon] (March 31, 2014). "ANNOUNCING! @TeamStarKid will perform at theatrical reading of "STARSHIP: REQUIEM" www.leakycon.com/?p=8224" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Jordan. ""Starship: Requiem" to be Performed at LeakyCon 2014". LeakyCon. Tumblr. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  7. ^ Team StarKid (March 16, 2016). "Firebringer 2016 - Let's Start Something!". YouTube. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  8. ^ [www.abouttheartists.com]
  9. ^ Team StarKid, The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, retrieved 2018-12-26
  10. ^ "TOUR". StarKid Productions. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  11. ^ Team StarKid (April 9, 2012). "Holy Musical [email protected]! and Apocalyptour Announcement 4.9.12". YouTube. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  12. ^ "Apocalyptour". StarKid Productions. Archived from the original on December 4, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Team StarKid (July 11, 2009). "StarKid Introduces: Little White Lie". YouTube. Retrieved January 18, 2012.
  14. ^ Gale, Eric Kahn (September 3, 2013). "Little White Lie Season 2 Synopsis". Tumblr. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d Austrone, Xavier (November 22, 2010). "StarKid Interview: Starship Coverage & A VERY POTTER THREEQUEL!?". Wizarding Life. Archived from the original on August 4, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  16. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (March 18, 2010). "'My Dick' Rises to Become First Charting Student Musical". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Milam, Whitney (July 24, 2010). "A Very Potter Musical's Team StarKid Premieres Sequel, Tops Glee and Gaga on iTunes, and Talks Future Projects". HollywoodNews.com. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  18. ^ [www.hollywoodnews.com]
  19. ^ Donahue, Ann (November 13, 2010). "'Glee' Newcomer Darren Criss Reflects on His 'Dream' Week". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  20. ^ [www.billboard.com]
  21. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (March 22, 2012). "StarKid's 'Space' Sets Sail, Debuts at No. 2 on Cast Albums Chart". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  22. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith [@keith_caulfield] (October 13, 2012). "Congrats to @TeamStarkid: #ApocalyptourLive Debuts at No. 3 on @Billboard's Top Cast Albums Chart! cc: @Brian_Holden, @JoeyRichter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links