|Born||October 22, 1959|
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Marc Shaiman (//; born October 22, 1959) is an American composer and lyricist for films, television, and theatre, best known for his collaborations with lyricist and director Scott Wittman. He wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the John Waters film Hairspray. He has won a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Tony, and been nominated for seven Oscars.
Shaiman was born to a Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Claire (née Goldfein) and William Robert Shaiman. He grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, but got his GED and left school at age 16 to start working in New York's theaters. He lives in both Manhattan and upstate New York.
Shaiman started his career as a theatre/cabaret musical director. He started working at Saturday Night Live as an arranger/writer, where he portrayed Skip St. Thomas, the accompanying pianist for The Sweeney Sisters, a singing duo played by Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks, which earned him an Emmy nomination; he returned for an appearance on The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special, having co-created Martin Short and Maya Rudolph's salute to musical sketch characters. He began his professional relationships with Billy Crystal and Martin Short during his tenure at the show. He also was a vocal arranger for Bette Midler, eventually becoming her musical director and co-producer of many of her recordings, including "The Wind Beneath My Wings" and "From a Distance." He helped create the material for her performance on the penultimate The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His work with both Midler and Billy Crystal led to his involvement on their films. He later produced Midler's CD It's the Girls, which had the highest debut of Midler's recording career on the Billboard Album charts, and co-wrote Crystal's farewell to Jay Leno which featured Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey among others.
His film credits include Broadcast News, Beaches, When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, The Addams Family, Sister Act, Sleepless in Seattle, A Few Good Men, The American President, The First Wives Club, George of the Jungle, In & Out, Patch Adams, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Team America: World Police, Hairspray, Flipped, Mary Poppins Returns and HBO's From the Earth to the Moon and 61*. On television, he worked on the final performances for Johnny Carson's Tonight Show (with Bette Midler), Conan O'Brien's Late Night (with Nathan Lane), both of Jay Leno's final Tonight Show broadcasts, and Nathan Lane's farewell to David Letterman called "Dead Inside."
Shaiman has earned seven Academy Award nominations, a Tony Award and a Grammy Award for his work on the musical Hairspray, and an Emmy Award for co-writing Billy Crystal's Academy Award performances. He has also been Grammy-nominated for his arrangements for Harry Connick Jr.'s recordings When Harry Met Sally... and We Are in Love as well as Hairspray and Smash and Emmy-nominated for his work on Saturday Night Live and Smash. In 2002, he was honored with the "Outstanding Achievement in Music-In-Film" award at The Hollywood Film Festival, and in 2007 he was honored with ASCAP's Henry Mancini Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contributions to the music of film and television. He is the first recipient of the Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Comedy Feature Film. He wrote and sang the song "Yes" for his agent's film Finding Kraftland, and co-wrote (with partner Scott Wittman) songs for Neil Patrick Harris when Harris hosted the 63rd Tony Awards (2009) and the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009), and was Emmy-nominated for musical directing and co-writing the 82nd Academy Awards (2010).
Shaiman co-produced and co-wrote cuts on Mariah Carey's 2010 Christmas album Merry Christmas II You. He and Wittman wrote original songs for the musical-based television show for NBC, Smash, which ran from 2012 to 2013, and served as executive producers. For their song "Let Me Be Your Star," Shaiman and co-lyricist Wittman were nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award, and as executive producers they were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical.
Shaiman and Wittman were honored on April 28, 2014, by The New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. The following year, Jennifer Hudson sang theSmash song "I Can't Let Go" at the 87th Academy Awards during the in memoriam tribute, featuring revised lyrics. The duo's latest Broadway musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ran on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, after finishing a four-year run on London's West End at The Royal Drury Lane Theater. Shaiman was Tony-nominated for his orchestrations for their previous Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can. In 2021, they wrote a song titled "Save the City" for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in-universe Broadway production titled Rogers: The Musical featured in the first episode of Hawkeye, "Never Meet Your Heroes". It was released as a single on November 24, the day the episode became available on Disney+.
In February 2021, it was announced that Shaiman and Wittman were writing songs for a new musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot, coming to Broadway in 2022 with a book by Amber Ruffin and Matthew Lopez.
In 2008, a controversy erupted nationwide when California Musical Theatre's then artistic director Scott Eckern resigned over the revelation of his personal donation of $1000 to a political campaign to support California Proposition 8, which was an amendment to change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. After the amendment was passed, donor information became public. Shaiman and other Broadway artists who had previously worked with the director became critical and called for a boycott of the theatre by all gay artists and performers, ending in the director's resignation days later.
To protest the passage of California Proposition 8 in November 2008, Shaiman wrote a satiric mini-musical called Prop 8 — The Musical. The 3-minute video was distributed on the internet at FunnyOrDie.com, beginning on December 3, 2008. It was written and produced in just a few days. The cast includes Jack Black (who plays Jesus), Neil Patrick Harris, John C. Reilly, Allison Janney, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Margaret Cho, and Rashida Jones. Shaiman plays the piano and appears briefly in the video. It received 1.2 million internet hits in its first day.
† = Tony nominee
- Prop 8 - The Musical (2008) (composer, lyricist, pianist) - 2009 "Webby" winner for Best Comedy: Short or Individual Episode
- Soundtrack of Our Lives: A Celebration for the Film and TV Music Community ("The End Titles" song) † (2020)
† = Emmy nominee
Harry Connick, Jr.
† = Grammy nominee
Original Broadway cast recordings
† = Grammy nominee
† = Grammy nominee
- Peter Allen
- Jack Black & Will Ferrell
- Kristin Chenoweth
- Rosemary Clooney
- Harry Connick Jr.
- Billy Crystal
- Christine Ebersole
- Ellen Foley
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Annie Golden
- The Harlettes
- The High-Heeled Women
- Lauryn Hill
- Jennifer Holliday
- Allison Janney
- Laura Kenyon
- Nathan Lane
- Ute Lemper
- Jenifer Lewis
- Darlene Love
- Patti LuPone
- Ann Magnuson
- Andrea Martin
- Lonette McKee
- Bette Midler
- Catherine O'Hara
- Sarah Jessica Parker
- Zora Rasmussen
- Ann Reinking
- Debbie Shapiro Gravitte
- Martin Short
- Barbra Streisand
- Donald Trump
- Tracey Ullman
- Luther Vandross
- Bruce Vilanch
- Steven Weber
- Raquel Welch
- Robin Williams
- Bloom, Nate (February 2, 2012). "Jewish stars: Whales, ghosts and 'Smash'". Cleveland Jewish News. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018.
- Marc Shaiman Biography (1959-) Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine filmreference.com
- Fowler, Linda. "N.J. native Marc Shaiman drops in on Paper Mill's production of his Broadway hit 'Hairspray'" Archived October 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, NJ.com, December 23, 2010. Accessed October 1, 2015. "Joking with fans during this fall production, Shaiman refers to his Scotch Plains hometown as exit 135.... Reluctant but supportive, his parents let him drop out of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School at 16 — he later earned a GED — to work in Manhattan’s fringe theaters."
- Itzkoff, Dave. "For This Songwriter, the Political Is Musical" The New York Times, December 6, 2008
- "Hairspray Composer Marc Shaiman Ties The Knot" Archived March 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, March 26, 2016
- "Smash - NBC Official Site: Bios". NBC TV. Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- "ASCAP Henry Mancini Award". ASCAP. Archived from the original on October 27, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Paige, Rachel (November 10, 2021). "'Hawkeye': Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on Bringing 'Rogers: The Musical' to Life". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
- Perine, Aaron (November 24, 2021). "How to Listen to Rogers: The Musical Song, "Save the City," From Hawkeye". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on November 24, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
- McPhee, Ryan (February 10, 2021). "Amber Ruffin to Co-Write Broadway-Aimed Some Like It Hot Musical". Playbill. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
- "Sacramento theater director who donated to Prop. 8 faced storm of criticism". Los Angeles Times. November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
- McKinley, Jesse (November 12, 2008). "Scott Eckern of California Musical Theater Resigns Amid Gay-Rights Ire Over Proposition 8 in California". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
- Itzkoff, Dave. "Marc Shaiman on 'Prop 8 — The Musical'", Archived December 6, 2009, at Wikiwix The New York Times, December 4, 2008
- "Star-studded Web video protests Prop 8 – Spoof musical's blockbuster cast includes Jack Black as Jesus", Associated Press, MSN.com, December 4, 2008
- Musto, Michael (July 23, 2002). "NY Mirror". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 25, 2021.