Katdashians, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Politics of Parody

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Katdashians
The cast of Katdashians! Break the Musical!

You may have heard about the recent conflict that occurred when Andrew Lloyd Webber learned about the new Off-Broadway musical Katdashians! Break the Musical!, a parody of his work that reimagines the Kardashian family as an ensemble of fame-hungry cats. Webber threatened the show with a lawsuit, but what followed? That’s the subject of this week’s episode of The Scene with my guests Bob and Tobly McSmith, the creators of the show, and Kim Katdashian herself.

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Bob and Tobly McSmith have a long history of writing subversive parody musicals, and their past work includes Bayside! The Musical, Full House the Musical! and Showgirls! The Musical!. Carmen Mendoza, who stars as Kim, is an accomplished dancer and comedian who has performed with iO Chicago, the Upright Citizens Brigade, the People’s Improv Theater and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Listen to hear how Katdashians! originated, what is (and isn’t) allowed in parody law and how the show is embracing the use of cell phones in the theater. (For selfies, naturally.)

If you liked this podcast, don’t forget you can subscribe on iTunes and listen to all our past episodes there as well. Thanks for supporting The Scene, and enjoy the show!

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Sean Douglass
Sean Douglass is the Managing Editor of The Clyde Fitch Report, as well as an author, playwright and dramaturg. He is the Company Dramaturg for Something Marvelous, Chicago's annual magical realism festival, and has previously worked at Northlight Theatre and Chicago Dramatists. His plays have been produced or developed at UW-Madison, The Vermont College of Fine Arts, The Chicago Fringe Festival, Luminous Theatre of Milwaukee, Something Marvelous, Chicago Dramatists and Stagecloud. He hosts the CFR's podcast The Scene and is also an arts writer for the digital news publication Rantt.