Team StarKid recently announced their next parody musical, Twisted, and last night the creators launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the show,


Twisted is a parody musical in the style of Wicked, the telling of a classic tale from the point of view of the original antagonist – in this case, Jafar, from Disney’s Aladdin. The traditional story of Aladdin is a fairy tale in the public domain, so, unlike the Very Potter shows and Holy Musical B@man!, by making a few tweaks to avoid Disney’s wrath, Team StarKid is legally able to run Twisted in a professional theatre for an extended period of time, and sell tickets for the show – the audiences for B@man were given free tickets won through a ballot system. StarKid has never used a crowd-funding campaign for a musical before, though several individual members have used Kickstarter for personal projects.

The Twisted Kickstarter breaks down the funding Team StarKid will need to put on a four-week run of the show this July in Chicago – many more performances than the four or six nights that their prior theatre shows, Starship and B@man, ran for. The budget for Twisted covers theatre hire, payment for the actors and musicians, travel expenses, sets, props and costumes.

You can watch the Kickstarter video for Twisted below, where the show’s creators discuss how they came up with the concept of Twisted, and hilariously explain their sympathy for Jafar:

In a show of support reminiscent of the Me and My Dick album release – this album from StarKid’s second musical was the first product that the group released for sale, given that all the initial Very Potter content was free, and, when finally given the chance to pay StarKid for their material, fans raised Me and My Dick to number 11 in the Top Cast Albums category on Billboard, making the show the first student musical to ever appear in the Billboard 200 charts – the Kickstarter fundraising goal of $35,000 was met within two hours, and around an hour later the show’s total projected budget was met. At the time of this article’s publication, the figure stands at $61,000.

Hypable spoke to the show’s creators, Nick and Matt Lang, directly after the Kickstarter was launched. They feel slightly uncomfortable about the move to crowd-sourcing, and have been resistant to the idea in the past – “I kind of feel bad about pre-selling a show,” Matt admitted – but Twisted co-creator Eric Kahn Gale, who worked with the Langs on Little White Lie and Me and My Dick, talked them into the idea of a Kickstarter campaign. Nick, Matt and Eric stated that they do not plan to take payment for their work as writers, directors and producers. In fact, they set their Kickstarter goal at $35,000 – $10,000 less than their projected budget, with plans to cover that final amount themselves if the Kickstarter managed to reach the target.

“We don’t feel comfortable setting it any higher,” Matt told us. “This time around, it’s a necessity, because we don’t have the money to do it. We could get away with it if we spent all of our money. All of our life savings.” Due to StarKid’s last two productions being unsellable copyrighted parodies, they did not make a profit and the funding for a new show was limited, Nick described to us. “With this one, if we wanted to be of a good enough calibre, and to pay the actors a fair amount, we’re going to need some outside help.”

StarKid are certainly offering some great rewards for the Kickstarter backers, including many Twisted-related products that fans will rush to buy anyway – the cast recording that will eventually be made, signed posters, t-shirts, and most importantly, tickets to the show. For a $40 pledge, you can secure a ticket to see Twisted some time in its four-week run, an opportunity that many fans are sure to jump on, given how difficult it has been in the past to obtain tickets to the last few live StarKid musicals. There are also meet-and-greet tickets up for grabs, for certain dates of the performance, which will run from July 4 at the Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago. Team StarKid state that if the Kickstarter goes over the projected budget – which it has, of course – that they will use the money to pay the actors a higher wage, create higher quality sets, and, if possible extend the run of the show.

The Langs also revealed to us that this show may be the first StarKid show to not go up on YouTube. “We would like it to be a show that runs,” Nick said. “We’re conceiving the show in a way of – in these other shows, they’re shot like sitcoms, where there are cameras around it, but in Twisted we’re going to stage it differently,” Matt elaborates, explaining that the show may not be practical for filming. They’re also concerned about immediately creating a permanent version of a show that has the potential to develop and change, if it becomes a long-running production. (Fans of Smash will be familiar with just how much content of a musical can change while it is being developed!)

If they do put it online, it may not be after the show’s initial run, if the show finds itself able to run again, incorporating re-writes and improvements. “We feel like it has the potential to be really good, so at this point, I don’t know if I can confirm it going on Youtube, because we would like it to be the kind of show that runs for longer and that everyone gets a chance to see it live.” So if you’re keen to see Twisted, we encourage you to use the Kickstarter to purchase tickets and find a way to make it out to Chicago this summer!

Keep an eye on Hypable for our feature interview with Nick and Matt Lang, where they will discuss more details about Twisted and, of course, look back at A Very Potter Senior Year.

How do you feel about Team StarKid launching a Kickstarter to fund Twisted? Will you be backing it and grabbing a ticket to go and see the show?

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

Read full article

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?