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The Musical is so NOT dead...

Guest andrewd

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Guest andrewd

Just saw this on the Rachel Maddow show...Prop 8 - The Musical with a star-studded cast. Look closely at all the cameos. Granted, some of the stars are impossible to miss.


It is funny and poignant. Jack Black is bah-sterical!




And while you're there check out some of the other vids, like Protect Marriage. It starts off with sarcastic humor, but ends with a telling twist.



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Guest andrewd

This is getting a lot of press, at least on MSNBC. Keith Olbermann showed it in it's entirety tonight on Countdown. At the end of the segment he put up a teaser for tomorrow night when the creator (Marc Shaiman, the composer behind Hairspray and South Park) & Jack Black will be on his show. Marc Shaiman by the way is the guy playing piano in the vid.


It is also featured on the front page of MSNBC's website.


When I saw it last night, 712,000 (give or take a few) people had viewed. As of this writing, 1,584,100 & change have viewed it.


And the movement continues to swell & grow... Hmmm, like it when things grow and swell...and pulsate...and, ah, never mind, I digress...

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Guest Wetnwildbear

From NYTimes.com Interview with the Creator


December 4, 2008, 1:19 pm

Marc Shaiman on ‘Prop 8 — The Musical’

By Dave Itzkoff

In just one day of online existence, the Funny Or Die video “Prop 8­ — The Musical” has received more than 1.2 million hits. The comedic song-and-dance diatribe about the California ballot initiative to define marriage as existing only between a man and a woman stars a cast of dozens, including John C. Reilly, Neil Patrick Harris, Maya Rudolph, and Jack Black as Jesus Christ.


See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

The musical itself is the brainchild of Marc Shaiman, the composer of the film and stage musical “Hairspray,” as well as some of the filthier songs in “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.” Assembled in a week, it’s also the result of a process that began when Mr. Shaiman, who splits his time between New York and Los Angeles, alerted his friends and colleagues that Scott Eckern, the musical director of Sacramento’s California Musical Theater, had donated money to a Yes-on-Prop 8 campaign. The proposition has already passed, and Mr. Eckern has since resigned, so what has Mr. Shaiman gained from this video? He discusses the creation of “Prop 8­–The Musical” in a Q&A below.



How did your mass e-mail message about Scott Eckern and the California Musical Theater end up spawning this video?

I sent an e-mail to a lot of people, anyone who’s in my phone book, and said, “Can you believe this guy?” I’d rather almost not talk about him and that situation anymore, because he’s certainly gone through enough. But that e-mail, one of the people it went to was Adam McKay [a co-founder of FunnyOrDie.com]. He wrote me back, basically, just saying, “Why don’t you write a song about it for Funny Or Die?” Which was like, the slapping-my-head moment. Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that? Or why didn’t I do that in the first place?


It took a few weeks to calm down enough to be able to find the humor in it all. So once he planted that seed in my head, I basically went the next day to the piano and started to write – a week later we were filming it.


Is this the first time you’ve created a viral video for the Internet?

I’m so old, I can’t remember. To this extent, certainly. I have done things that have ended up on the Internet. Luckily, nothing sexual. Yet. But the night is still young.


How do you feel, given that it took the passage of Proposition 8 to motivate you to create a video opposing it?

In my credit, it says, “Written (six weeks too late) by Marc Shaiman.” I mean, yeah, it’s totally bittersweet. Barack Obama’s ascension just had us all so giddy. We were thinking of how to film it, and I said, “Well, maybe that first section should be all of us on a hill, with poppies, and it snows and we’re put to sleep, and then the Proposition 8 people are looking through the crystal ball, like the Wicked Witch of the West in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’” Because that’s what happened. We stupidly allowed ourselves to be lulled into a sense of, everything’s fantastic now, look – everything’s changing. And this couldn’t possibly be voted into law. This is just like some little pesky thing that we’re swatting at, and it will go away immediately.


How did you react to the news that Mr. Eckern had resigned from the theater?

There’s certainly nothing joyous about being partially responsible for a man resigning from his job. I mean, I did not ask for his resignation, nor would it be my place to ask for someone’s resignation. He resigned, though, and I was part of that, and that is a very heavy weight, and I don’t take it lightly. But it has certainly opened up our eyes, and made me get off the couch and out on the street with a picket sign, for the first time in my life. And it felt fantastic.


So this experience has made you more of an activist?

Yeah, I was marching in New York, and that was just the greatest experience. And of course this video is just a viral picket sign. And hopefully funny. I hope that doesn’t get lost. I hope that’s what most people get out of it.




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Guest backbaygayguy

More from the Times:




For This Songwriter, the Political Is Musical


Most of the jokes in the Internet video “Prop 8 — the Musical,” a comedic song-and-dance diatribe about the California ballot initiative defining marriage as existing only between a man and a woman, are in its lyrics.


Playing a black-suited religious conservative, John C. Reilly intones, “People, listen to our plea/They’ll teach our kids about sodomy.” Neil Patrick Harris, playing a flamboyant figure trying to reconcile the proposition’s supporters and opponents, sings, “Every time a gay or lesbian finds love at the parade/There’s money to be made.”


But there is one visual gag that is particularly bittersweet to Marc Shaiman, the creator and composer of the video: a credit that says Mr. Shaiman conceived and wrote this three-minute musical skit “six weeks later than he shoulda.”


As popular as “Prop 8 — the Musical” has been — it has been viewed more than 1.9 million times since it was posted on Wednesday on funnyordie.com — it is also a reminder to Mr. Shaiman and like-minded colleagues of how events might have turned out if they had been vocal and organized before Proposition 8 was approved by California voters last month.


“We stupidly allowed ourselves to be lulled into a sense of ‘everything’s fantastic now,’ ” Mr. Shaiman said in a recent telephone interview. “ ‘Everything’s changing, and this couldn’t possibly be voted into law.’ ”


The proposition passed on Election Day with 52 percent of the vote, including strong support from religious conservatives. On Nov. 20 the California Supreme Court said it would consider whether a voter-approved ban on same-sex unions was constitutional.


Mr. Shaiman, 49, an openly gay, Tony Award-winning songwriter whose résumé includes the stage and film musicals “Hairspray” and some of the bawdier songs in “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut,” came to create “Prop 8 — the Musical” somewhat inadvertently.


After the passage of the ballot initiative, he learned that Scott Eckern, the musical director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento, had donated money to support Proposition 8. Mr. Shaiman found this troubling, since the theater had recently staged a production of “Hairspray”: by his reckoning, this meant that funds generated by his work were used to bolster a cause he opposed. (Mr. Eckern, who is a Mormon and has said that his donation stemmed from his religious beliefs, did not respond to requests to comment for this article.)


Mr. Shaiman said, “I sent an e-mail to a lot of people, anyone who’s in my phone book, and said, ‘Can you believe this guy?’ ” Among the people he contacted was Adam McKay, a founder (with Will Ferrell) of Funny or Die, who encouraged Mr. Shaiman to channel his feelings into a video for the site. This was, Mr. Shaiman said, “the slapping-my-head moment: ‘Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that?’ ”


On Nov. 18, Mr. Shaiman recalled, he sat down at his piano in his home in Los Angeles and wrote “Prop 8.” On Nov. 19 and 20 he cast the video, recruiting Jack Black to play a particularly flippant Jesus Christ and Adam Shankman (the director and choreographer of the “Hairspray” movie musical) to direct it. The video was shot in one day at a magic store in Santa Monica, and mixed and edited after the Thanksgiving holiday at a pace that Mr. Shaiman found astounding.


“It’s like ‘Saturday Night Live,’ only without the money,” he said. “But also without the restrictions.”


The purpose of the video, its participants say, is to find common ground between Proposition 8’s supporters and its adversaries. “If you really wanted to break it down lyrically, it’s literally a list of talking points,” Mr. Shankman said in a telephone interview. “It’s about questioning, and it’s doing it with a very sweet and innocent spirit.”


But “Prop 8 — the Musical” has also been criticized in comments on Funny or Die for glibness, and for trying to address a moral question with an economic answer: at the end of the video the initiative’s sponsors give up their religious objections when they learn they can make money from gay weddings.


For Mr. Shaiman there is also an air of ruefulness hanging over the project. He says he felt burdened by the news that Mr. Eckern had resigned his position at the California Musical Theater on Nov. 12.


“I did not ask for his resignation, nor would it be my place to ask for someone’s resignation,” Mr. Shaiman said. “But I was a part of that, and that is a very heavy weight, and I don’t take it lightly.”


If he cannot undo the events of Election Day, Mr. Shaiman said that he took some comfort in the e-mail messages he has received in support of “Prop 8 — the Musical,” and that the creation of the short (which he described as “a viral picket sign”) had drawn him into a larger network of activism.


“The most important thing,” he said, “is that it continues the dialogue, and does not allow another week to go by for the subject to be swept under the rug.”


The other benefit of the project is that it has introduced Mr. Shaiman to the medium of Internet video, a field to which he has never (willingly) contributed before.


Working in movies and theater, he said, “can be distressing, even when things are going great.”


“It’s just like, ‘Oh, I wish we could put this in front of an audience and know what it is.’ ”


The immediacy of viral videos, he said, “strips years off your life.”


Mr. Shaiman continued, “It’s made me feel skinny, metaphorically.”

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