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Marc Shaiman

Marc Shaiman
Shaiman at the Drama League All Star Benefit Gala, February 7, 2010
Born (1959-10-22) October 22, 1959
Newark, New Jersey, US
Residence Los Angeles & New York City
Known for Multiple awards as composer and lyricist
Partner(s) Scott Wittman

Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is an Grammy, Emmy, Tony winning, and multi Oscar nominated American composer, lyricist, arranger and performer for films, television, and theatre. He is perhaps best known for writing the music and co-writing the lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the John Waters film Hairspray.


  • Personal life 1
  • Career 2
  • Activism 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Television 5
  • Theatre 6
  • Internet 7
  • Discography 8
    • Mariah Carey 8.1
    • Bette Midler 8.2
    • Harry Connick, Jr. 8.3
    • Peter Allen 8.4
    • Soundtracks 8.5
    • Original Broadway cast recordings 8.6
  • Concert/cabaret work 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Personal life

Shaiman was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Claire (née Goldfein) and William Robert Shaiman.[1] He grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and attended Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, but dropped out at age 16 to start working in New York's theaters.[2] He lives in both Los Angeles and New York City.


Shaiman started his career as a theatre/cabaret musical director. He then became 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 Bette Midler and Billy Crystal led to his involvement on their films.

His film In & Out, Patch Adams, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Team America: World Police, Flipped, and HBO's From the Earth to the Moon, and 61*. He frequently works on films by Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner. He has also appeared in many of these films.

Shaiman has earned five 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.[3] He is the first recipient of the Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Comedy Feature Film.

Fans of Saturday Night Live may recognize Shaiman as 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.[4] He began his professional relationships with Billy Crystal and Martin Short during his tenure at Saturday Night Live. He wrote and sang the song "Yes" for his agent's film Finding Kraftland He co-wrote (with partner 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.

Shaiman wrote original songs for the musical-based television show for NBC, Smash, as well as served as Executive Producer. For their song "Let Me Be Your Star," Shaiman and co-lyricist Scott 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 co-lyricist Wittman supplied the score for the new musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical, currently playing London's West End. The show has broken box-office house records at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and an Original West End Cast recording was released.

Shaiman co-wrote Billy Crystal's farewell to Jay Leno which featured Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey among others. He has now collaborated on the final performances for Johnny Carson's Tonight Show (with Bette Midler), Conan O'Brien's Late Night (with Nathan Lane) and both of Jay Leno's final Tonight Show broadcasts.

Shaiman & Wittman were honored on April 28, 2014 by The New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.[4]

Shaiman produced Bette Midler's latest recording, "It's The Girls," which had the highest debut of Midler's recording career on the Billboard Album charts.

Shaiman appeared on The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special, having co-created Martin Short & Maya Rudolph's salute to musical sketch characters.

Jennifer Hudson sang Shaiman & Wittman's Smash song "I Can't Let Go" at the 87th Academy Awards, which they revised to fit the In Memoriam section.


In 2008 a controversy erupted nationwide when California Musical Theatre's then artistic director resigned over the revelation of his personal donation of $1000 to a political campaign to support California proposition 8. The proposition—which would amend the state constitution to limit marriage between a man and woman—passed, and 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 directors 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 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, Rashida Jones and other celebrities. Shaiman plays the piano and appears briefly on the video. It received 1.2 million internet hits in its first day.[5][6]


= Oscar Nominee




  • Prop 8 - The Musical (2008) (Composer, Lyricist, Pianist) 2009 "Webby" winner-Best Comedy:Short or Individual Episode


Concert/cabaret work


  1. ^ Marc Shaiman Biography (1959-)
  2. ^ Fowler, Linda. "N.J. native Marc Shaiman drops in on Paper Mill's production of his Broadway hit 'Hairspray'",, 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."
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave. "Marc Shaiman on 'Prop 8 — The Musical'", The New York Times, December 4, 2008
  6. ^ "Star-studded Web video protests Prop 8 – Spoof musical's blockbuster cast includes Jack Black as Jesus", Associated Press,, December 4, 2008

External links

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