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StarKid Productions
Founded2009 (2009)
FoundersDarren Criss
Brian Holden
Matt Lang
Nick Lang
TypeTheatrical productions
Location
AffiliationsUniversity of Michigan
Basement Arts
Websiteteamstarkid.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. Originally known for the viral success of their first musical, A Very Potter Musical, a parody of the Harry Potter series, the troupe primarily produces musical comedies inspired by pop culture, with original scripts, songs, and music. StarKid distributes their musicals for free on YouTube, with recent projects being funded by Kickstarter and physical ticket sales.

Since the success of A Very Potter Musical, the group has produced thirteen stage musicals (including two Potter sequels), two national tours, two reunion concert specials, three sketch comedy shows, and three web series.

As of 2020, the company has charted 12 albums on the Billboard charts. The cast recording of Me and My Dick debuted at number 11 on the US Cast Albums chart in 2010, becoming the first student-produced musical recording to chart on Billboard. The following year they landed at number one on the same chart with the cast recording of Starship, a feat that has since been repeated with their 2019 musical Black Friday.

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 were performed and released on YouTube, A Very Potter Sequel in 2010 and A Very Potter Senior Year in 2012.[1][2]

The Team StarKid YouTube channel was established on June 19, 2009.[3] The channel currently has over 730,000 subscribers and over 310,000,000 combined views.[3] Aside from the viral Harry Potter adaptions, Team StarKid have produced a number of other musical theatre parody shows, creating both original stories and pop culture-based parodies of Disney, DC Comics, Star Wars, and The Oregon Trail.

Team Starkid has had two major moves since its founding in 2009. The first was to Chicago after the founders graduated from The University of Michigan. Several shows were performed in Chicago before most of the company's members moved once again, this time to Los Angeles.

Starkid has most recently gained attention for their Hatchetfield series of musicals and short films. The series began in 2018 with the musical, The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals.[4] and continued in 2019 with the premiere of Black Friday.[5] Future installments of the series have been announced, including “Workin’ Boys”, a short film spin-off of The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals, and a new musical titled Nerdy Prudes Must Die.[6]

Members

There have been many actors involved with StarKid projects over the years, and it's usual for actors to feature in a few of their productions as opposed to just one.

Among the cast members who have appeared in more than half of their projects, and can therefore be considered regular collaborators, are Jaime Lyn Beatty, Jeff Blim, Denise Donovan, Brian Holden, Lauren Lopez, Jim Povolo, Joey Richter, Dylan Saunders, Meredith Stepien, Brian Rosenthal, Corey Dorris, and Joseph Walker.

Several members of Team StarKid have gone on to notable careers in television or theatre. This includes Emmy Award winner Darren Criss (Glee and The Assassination of Gianni Versace), A. J. Holmes (The Book of Mormon), Carlos Valdes (The Flash), and Britney Coleman (Tootsie and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical).

Musical theatre productions

Production Dates Location Music & Lyrics Book Notes
A Very Potter Musical April 9–11, 2009 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Darren Criss, A. J. Holmes Brian Holden, Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on the Harry Potter series
Me and My Dick October 29–31, 2009 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Darren Criss, A. J. Holmes, Carlos Valdes Eric Kahn Gale, Brian Holden, Matt Lang, Nick Lang
A Very Potter Sequel May 14–16, 2010 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Darren Criss Brian Holden, Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on the Harry Potter series; sequel to A Very Potter Musical
Starship February 11–23, 2011 Hoover-Leppen Theatre, Chicago, IL Darren Criss Brian Holden, Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Joe Walker Inspired by Starship Troopers and The Little Mermaid
Holy Musical B@man! March 22–25, 2012 Hoover-Leppen Theatre, Chicago, IL Nick Gage, Scott Lamps Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on the DC Comics universe
A Very Potter Senior Year August 11, 2012 LeakyCon, Chicago, IL Clark Baxtresser, Darren Criss, A. J. Holmes, Pierce Siebers Brian Holden, Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on the Harry Potter series; sequel to A Very Potter Musical; staged reading rather than a full production
Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier July 4–28, 2013 Greenhouse Theatre, Chicago, IL A. J. Holmes, Kaley McMahon Eric Kahn Gale, Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on the 1992 Disney film Aladdin and One Thousand and One Nights, as well as the musical Wicked
The Trail to Oregon! July 3 - August 10, 2014 Stage 773, Chicago, IL Jeff Blim, Drew De Four Jeff Blim, Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on The Oregon Trail video game series
Ani: A Parody July 3 - August 10, 2014 Stage 773, Chicago, IL Clark Baxtresser, Pierce Siebers Matt Lang, Nick Lang Based on the Star Wars series
Firebringer July 6 - August 7, 2016 Stage 773, Chicago, IL Meredith Stepien, Mark Swiderski Brian Holden, Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Meredith Stepien
The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals October 11 - November 4, 2018 The Matrix Theatre, Los Angeles, CA Jeff Blim Matt Lang, Nick Lang, Jeff Blim The first installment of the Hatchetfield Saga
Black Friday October 31 - December 8, 2019 Hudson Mainstage Theatre, Los Angeles, CA Jeff Blim Matt Lang, Nick Lang The second installment of the Hatchetfield Saga
A VHS Christmas Carol December 11–13, 2020 Looped Clark Baxtresser Clark Baxtresser Based on A Christmas Carol
VHS Christmas Carol Live! December 9-11, 2021 The Bourbon Room, Los Angeles, CA Clark Baxtresser Clark Baxtresser A staged version of the 2020 live-streamed production
Nerdy Prudes Must Die TBD TBD Jeff Blim Matt Lang, Nick Lang The third installment of the Hatchetfield Saga

Team StarKid produced a sequel to their 2011 musical Starship called Starship: Requiem that was performed on August 2, 2014 at LeakyCon in Orlando, FL. However, it was a one-time "theatrical reading" and, as such, Team StarKid does not include it in their musical canon.[7] The story followed the adventures of the android Mega-Girl and her half-witted Starship Ranger husband, Tootsie Noodles, as the newlyweds go to visit Mega-Girl's human-hating family.[8]

An audio recording of Starship: Requiem was created as a perk for those who helped fund the musical Firebringer, featuring music by the band Jim and the Povolos, which included numerous members of Team Starkid. A production of A Very Potter Christmas was also included,[9] which served a sneak peek into the lives of the cast after graduation while also flashing back to the era of Lily and James Potter. Although both recordings were intended to arrive on Christmas of 2016, Starship: Requiem would not see a release until sometime in February 2018.[10]

Concerts and tours

Sketch comedy productions

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.[16] 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.[17]

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 Esther Fallick as Halpert Evans and Mary Kate Wiles as Judy Davendale. Joey Richter, Nick Lang, Brian Holden, Dylan Saunders, Lauren Lopez, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Corey Dorris, and Clark Baxtresser also star.

Nightmare Time

On October 1, 2020 StarKid announced a new three-episode horror anthology series set in the world of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday. It featured six stories read by the cast of the shows (Jaime Lyn Beatty, Jeff Blim, Corey Dorris, Mariah Rose Faith, Angela Giarratana, Lauren Lopez, Robert Manion, Jon Matteson, Curt Mega, Joey Richter, Dylan Saunders, James Tolbert, Kim Whalen, & Kendall Nicole Yakshe.) Performances took place virtually on October 10, 17, and 24, 2020. As of August 2021, a season two has been announced. [18] A cast recording was released on February 8, 2021.[19] The second and third performances were uploaded to StarKid's YouTube channel on February 14, 2021, which had previously been only available to watch by buying a digital ticket.[20]

The next year, StarKid later livestreamed Nightmare Time 2, the second season of the series. Four performances took place virtually on October 23 & 30 and November 6 & 13, 2021. The entire cast from the first season returned with the exceptions of Robert Manion & Kendall Nicole Yakshe. The series was also the StarKid debut of Bryce Charles and Jae Hughes.[21]

Soundtrack albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Notes
US US
Cast
US
Comedy
US
Comp.
US
Indie
Little White Lie[22]
  • Released: June 30, 2009
  • Formats: Download
A Very Potter Musical[22]
  • Released: September 9, 2009
  • Formats: Download
Made only available for free on Bandcamp, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Me and My Dick (A New Musical)[22][23][24]
  • Released: January 6, 2010
  • Formats: Download
11[25]
A Very StarKid Album[24]
  • Released: July 22, 2010
  • Formats: Download
18[26]
A Very Potter Sequel[22]
  • Released: July 31, 2010
  • Formats: Download
Made only available for free on Bandcamp, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Starship (Original Soundtrack) 134[27] 1[28] 25[29]
The SPACE Tour[30]
  • Released: March 13, 2012
  • Formats: Download, Compact disc
[a][31] 2[32] 39[33]
That's What I Call StarKid!, Vol. 2
  • Released: April 13, 2012
  • Formats: Download
12[34] 24[35]
Holy Musical B@man!
  • Released: April 13, 2012
  • Formats: Download
Made only available for free on Bandcamp, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Apocalyptour: Live Album[citation needed]
  • Released: October 2, 2012
  • Formats: Download, Compact disc
3[36]
A Very StarKid Senior Year (A Very Potter Senior Year)
  • Released: December 15, 2012
  • Formats: Download
Made only available via the official StarKid store, therefore not eligible for Billboard chart listings.
Twisted (Original Chicago Cast Recording)
  • Released: November 28, 2013
  • Formats: Download
12[37]
Twisted: Twisted
  • Released: December 4, 2013
  • Formats: Download
A remix album featuring reworked versions songs from the musical Twisted as well as original demos.
Ani: A Parody
  • Released: October 31, 2014
  • Formats: Download
13[38] 4[39]
The Trail to Oregon!
  • Released: February 13, 2015
  • Formats: Download
10[40]
Firebringer (Original Cast Recording)
  • Released: November 22, 2016
  • Formats: Download
10[41]
The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals
  • Released: December 24, 2018
  • Formats: Download
6[42]
StarKid Homecoming: Vol. 1 (Live)
  • Released: December 18, 2019
  • Formats: Download
StarKid Homecoming: Vol. 2 (Live)
  • Released: December 18, 2019
  • Formats: Download
Black Friday
  • Released: February 28, 2020
  • Formats: Download
[b][43] 1[44]

Notes

  1. ^ "The SPACE Tour" did not enter the Billboard 200 but did enter the Top Current Albums component chart at number 182
  2. ^ "Black Friday" did not enter the Billboard 200 but did enter the Top Album Sales component chart at number 58.

References

  1. ^ "Team StarKid". StarKid Productions. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  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. ^ a b "Team StarKid - YouTube". YouTube.
  4. ^ "The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals". StarKid Productions. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  5. ^ "Black Friday". StarKid Productions. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  6. ^ "https://twitter.com/nicklangtweets/status/1234249688653561857". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-09-24. ((cite web)): External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ LeakyCon [@LeakyCon] (March 31, 2014). "ANNOUNCING! @TeamStarKid will perform at theatrical reading of "STARSHIP: REQUIEM" www.leakycon.com/?p=8224" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Jordan. ""Starship: Requiem" to be Performed at LeakyCon 2014". LeakyCon. Tumblr. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  9. ^ StarKid, Team (2016-12-25). "Happy Christmas, Everyone! The A VERY POTTER CHRISTMAS audio reading is ready forit's [sic] backers! …https://firebringer-starkids-new-stone-age-musical.backerkit.com/ pic.twitter.com/guz4vwtzNB". @TeamStarKid. Retrieved 2020-02-16. ((cite web)): External link in |title= (help)
  10. ^ StarKid, Team (2018-02-12). "Hey there! As @NickLangTweets said a while back, the last FIREBRINGER award has been sent out! Starship Requiem, the audio version should be available through your backerkit survey if you purchased it back in the year 2016! Enjoy!…https://firebringer-starkids-new-stone-age-musical.backerkit.com/". @TeamStarKid. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  11. ^ "Team StarKid Adds Dates for The Space Tour | TheaterMania". www.theatermania.com. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  12. ^ "Apocalyptour". 2013-12-04. Archived from the original on 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  13. ^ "'A Very StarKid Reunion' is a nostalgic must-have for fans". Hypable. 2015-12-06. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  14. ^ "StarKid Homecoming". StarKid Productions. Retrieved 2019-06-29.
  15. ^ "StarKid Homecoming". StarKid Productions. Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  16. ^ Team StarKid (July 11, 2009). "StarKid Introduces: Little White Lie". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved January 18, 2012.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Nightmare Time".
  19. ^ Nightmare Time (Original StarKid Cast Recording) by Original StarKid Cast of Nightmare Time on iTunes, 8 February 2021, retrieved 2021-02-10
  20. ^ NIGHTMARE TIME Eps 2 & 3 Coming VALENTINE'S DAY!, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2021-06-13
  21. ^ Nightmare Time 2 -- StarKid Productions, retrieved 2022-01-31((citation)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Caulfield, Keith (March 18, 2010). "'My Dick' Rises to Become First Charting Student Musical". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  24. ^ a b 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.
  25. ^ "Cast Albums - March 27, 2010". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  26. ^ "Compilation Albums - August 14, 2010". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  27. ^ "Billboard 200 - May 14, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "Cast Albums - May 14, 2011". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  29. ^ "Independent Albums - May 14, 2011". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ "Top Current Albums: March 31, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  32. ^ "Cast Albums - March 31, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  33. ^ "Independent Albums - March 31, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  34. ^ "Cast Albums - May 5, 2012". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  35. ^ "Compilation Albums - May 5, 2012". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  36. ^ "Cast Albums - October 20, 2012". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  37. ^ "Cast Albums - December 21, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  38. ^ "Cast Albums - November 22, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  39. ^ "Comedy Albums - November 22, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  40. ^ "Cast Albums - February 28, 2015". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  41. ^ "Cast Albums - January 21, 2017". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  42. ^ "Cast Albums - January 12, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  43. ^ "Top Album Sales: March 14, 2020". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  44. ^ "Cast Albums: March 14, 2020". Billboard. Retrieved March 10, 2020.