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Marc Shaiman and “Mary Poppins Returns”

The Actors Fund 2016 Gala

Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is an American composer and lyricist for films, television, and theater, who is best known for his collaborations with lyricist and director Scott Wittman, wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the John Waters film Hairspray, has won a Grammy, an Emmy and a Tony, and has been nominated for five Oscars.  Shaiman was born to a Jewish family on October 22, 1959, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of William Robert and Claire (née Goldfein) 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.

Shaiman started his career as a theatre/cabaret musical director. He started working at SNL as an arranger/writer and also 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 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, Flipped, and HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon and 61*. He frequently works on films by Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner. He 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.  He is the first recipient of the Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Comedy Feature Film.

On Saturday Night Live, Shaiman 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 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 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.

Shaiman and Wittman wrote original songs for the musical-based television show for NBC, Smash, 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 co-wrote Billy Crystal’s farewell to Jay Leno which featured Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey among others. He collaborated 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 and Wittman were honored on April 28, 2014, by The New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Shaiman produced Bette Midler’s CD 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 and Maya Rudolph’s salute to musical sketch characters.  Jennifer Hudson sang Shaiman and Wittman’s Smash song “I Can’t Let Go” at the 87th Academy Awards, which they revised to fit the In Memoriam section.  Shaiman and Wittman’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.  Shaiman married Lieutenant Commander Louis Mirabal on March 26, 2016. He lives in both Los Angeles and Manhattan.

My collection in the following work by Marc Shaiman:

Mary Poppins Returns (2018): Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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