Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Fame Becomes Shaiman

This article shared 1331 times since Wed Jul 12, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Most Tony Award-winning composers prefer to stay behind the scenes, reveling in the applause while raking in the royalty checks. But Marc Shaiman, the out composer of the 2002 Broadway smash Hairspray, is different.

Shaiman is not only composing the music for the Broadway-bound Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, he also appears in it. Fame Becomes Me is now playing Chicago's LaSalle Bank Theatre ( formerly the Shubert ) as its final pre-Broadway stop.

In a way, performing in Fame Becomes Me is another dream come true for the oft Academy Award-nominated composer to films like Sister Act and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. After Hairspray opened on Broadway, Shaiman cajoled director Jack O'Brien to let him play Edna Turnblad, the blossoming Baltimore housewife memorably played by Harvey Fierstein. As the gossip wags reported it, O'Brien said no because the theater needed more writers and composers instead of actors.

So when the opportunity to work and perform with Martin Short arose, Shaiman jumped at the chance. Along with Short, Shaiman is re-teaming with Hairspray lyricist Scott Wittman and playwright Daniel Goldfarb ( the comedy Modern Orthodox ) on what he calls a fast-paced 'modern burlesque.'

'We're all having a great time because the show is a real romp,' Shaiman said during the show's run in Toronto. 'Onstage and offstage, there is such joy in the company.'

Shaiman says Fame Becomes Me is a throwback to the musical revues ( like New Faces of 1952 ) highlighting great performers that typically lit up Broadway. He also admits that it's similar to the hit TV revue The Carol Burnett Show.

So while Short gets to play his TV personas of overweight Hollywood critic Jiminy Glick and the slick-haired Ed Grimley, other performers also get the chance to shine. Shaiman gets to play roles like 'that classic man behind the piano' and a little girl in pigtails plus a patient who, at one point, flashes his rear to the audience through his hospital robe.

'I don't know of too many of my contemporaries who would do that,' Shaiman said.

As much fun as Shaiman is having in Fame Becomes Me, he's also dealing with some minor frustrations. The show opened to extremely positive reviews in San Francisco, but Toronto critics were largely negative.

'I don't know why they were more politically correct and just shocked by the bawdy nature of the show,' Shaiman said. 'I mean, I co-wrote the music to the South Park movie, and this show is tame to my way of thinking.'

Shaiman also admits the rigors of fine-tuning a show while performing in it eight times a week is tough. 'The technical aspect of making changes is complicated,' Shaiman said. 'We're sitting on a lot of new ideas that we'll put in once we get back to rehearsal.'

Being tied up in a show has also prevented Shaiman from visiting the closing performances of Hairspray's national Equity tour, plus he'll have to do some juggling when it comes time for Hairspray to be filmed in Toronto this year.

But for now, Shaiman's attentions are fully on making Fame Becomes Me into a campy musical comedy hit. This is why Shaiman made such a point for readers of a gay and lesbian publication like the Windy City Times to go out and patronize Fame Becomes Me.

'Martin Short, who's as heterosexual as they come, has the most gay sensibility of any human being on earth,' Shaiman said. 'Every aspect of the gay sensibility, he gets and enjoys. You'd have to be a really boring person to not love our show.'

Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me is at the LaSalle Bank Theatre, 18 W. Monroe, through July 16. Tickets are $32-82.50. Call ( 312 ) 902-1400.

This article shared 1331 times since Wed Jul 12, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

MUSICALS 'Pretty Woman' tickets go on sale Oct. 15 2021-10-15
- After a pre-Broadway run in Chicago and being on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on one of Hollywood's most beloved romantic stories of all time, returns to Chicago. The production will run at the CIBC ...

Gay News

THEATER Broken Nose presenting looter drama 'Primer' Nov. 15-Dec. 5 2021-10-15
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, will run the world premiere audio drama Primer, described in a release as "a deeply honest look at the prioritization of property over people. Ensemble member Spenser Davis wrote ...

Gay News

THEATER 'A Rocky Horror Picture Party' at The Den on Oct. 30-31 2021-10-12
- Haven is presenting Science Fiction / Double Feature: A Rocky Horror Picture Party—an immersive Halloween experience that brings to life in vivid technicolor the world of the cult-classic film—directed by ...

Gay News

THEATER Rivendell's '8:46' to run Oct. 21-23, stream Nov. 1 2021-10-12
- Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE)—Chicago's only Equity theater dedicated to producing new work with women at the core—announced 8:46 (Breathing Room), a new play festival of four commissioned plays each eight ...

Gay News

COMEDY Janeane Garofalo at The Den Theatre on Nov. 19-20 2021-10-12
- The Den Theatre will present comedian Janeane Garofalo for four performances on Nov. 19-20 (at 7 and 9:30 p.m. each night) on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Garofalo has had many memorable and critically ...

Gay News

DRAG Utica Queen finds a home in Chicago 2021-10-12
- Ethan Mundt rose to fame as Utica Queen in season 13 of the Emmy-winning show RuPaul's Drag Race. Ultimately placing sixth in the competition, this young, gay 25-year-old showed creativity and personality. Mundt's latest project, Homecoming ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' running through Nov. 6 2021-10-12
- Black Button Eyes Productions is welcoming back live audiences with the popular internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—an authorized fan production to benefit the Chicago charity Season of Concern—playing through ...

Gay News

THEATER 'I'm Not A Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce' returns Nov. 5 2021-10-08
- Theatre 68 and the Venus Cabaret Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., announced the return of the critically acclaimed production, I'm Not A Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce, to Chicago beginning Friday, Nov. 5. Ronnie Marmo wrote and ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Songs for Nobodies 2021-10-07
- Title: Songs for Nobodies. Playwright: Joanna Murray-Smith At: Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. Tickets: $30-$89. Runs through: Sunday, Oct. 31 You won't find their names in the history ...

Gay News

Chicago Inclusion Project offers anti-racism workshops for arts organizations 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago, IL—The staff of The Chicago Inclusion Project is excited to launch a new workshop and continuum developed by staff members Jessica Vann and Arti Ishak. The workshop, entitled "Being Anti-Racist: An Active Action," is designed ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW: American Mariachi 2021-10-02
- Title: American Mariachi. Playwright: Jose Cruz Gonzalez At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $25-$98; Runs through: Oct. 24 From the first moment, when a shrill "grito" proclaims the commencement of a Mariachi bolero, ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Thirteen Days 2021-09-29
- Thirteen Days. adapted by Brian Pastor from the book by Robert F. Kennedy At: City Lit Theatre at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1030 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Tickets: $27-$32. Runs through: Oct. 24 Palace Intrigue has been ...

Gay News

THEATER 'The Last Pair of Earlies' running Oct. 27-Dec. 12 at Raven 2021-09-28
- Raven Theatre, Chicago's newest Equity-affiliated theatre, is welcoming back audiences this fall with the world premiere of Joshua Allen's The Last Pair of Earlies, directed by Wardell Julius Clark. This new drama—which follows the hardships ...

Gay News

Next OUTspoken 'Storytelling Night' Oct. 5 2021-09-27
--From a press release - Six Chicagoans will tell compelling stories with a LGBTQ+ perspective when another OUTspoken "Storytelling Night" takes place Tuesday, Oct. 5, starting at 7 p.m., at Sidetrack Bar, 3349 N. Halsted St. All attendees must be masked ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Moulin Rouge!,' gay play 'The Inheritance' win top Tonys 2021-09-27
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the runaway winner at the Tony Awards on Sept. 26, snagging 10 awards. Among its honors were Best Musical, Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.