Team StarKid is a loosely-organised musical theatre production troupe, originally from Ann Arbor and currently based in Chicago, who are famous for making A Very Potter Musical.
The group began as friends who met while studying at the University of Michigan and did several projects together, usually in conjunction with Basement Arts, before hitting surprise mainstream success through A Very Potter Musical. Their original musical Me and My Dick broke records as it became the first college musical to break into the Billboards top Cast albums, debuting at number 11. In July 2010, the group released A Very StarKid Album, a compilation album featuring songs from the Harry Potter musicals, Little White Lie, Me and My Dick and some original music; it rose to number 27 on the iTunes charts, beating out Lady Gaga and the Glee soundtrack for a little while. In late 2010, Team StarKid relocated to Chicago in order to establish a repertory theatre company. On November 1st 2010, Team StarKid announced their latest production, Starship, which premiered in Chicago in February 2011 and premiered on YouTube on April 30th 2011. By May 1st, it had risen to #4 on the US iTunes charts. Many of their shows can be considered Affectionate Parody, and contain numerous Shout Outs to other works.
Their official website and links to their projects, music and merchandise can be found on the website.
The Team StarKid regulars are:
- Matt Lang: Director and co-writer for all of their productions so far. Also works on the video editing.
- Nick Lang: Co-writer, usually a co-director, works on the video editing, handles the puppet work and has acted in several productions: he played Kevin in Little White Lie and a number of bit roles in AVPS (including the voice of the Scarf of Sexual Preference). Also portrayed the Caller Bug and Mister Bug in Starship in addition to designing the 2-D puppets. He was also Robin, Barack Obama, and a thug in Holy Musical B@man! He also worked on soapnet.com and was a part of the Gossip Girl finger puppets, which have reached Memetic Mutation in that fandom.
- Brian Holden: Co-writer and frequent actor: he played Zach in Little White Lie, Flopsy in Me and My Dick, Remus Lupin in AVPS, Junior and Veeto Mosquito in Starship, and Superman in Holy Musical B@man!. Has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
- Darren Criss: An actor/singer/songwriter, he's written some (and in the cases of AVPS and Starship, all) of the songs in every StarKid production and was the band guitar player for Me and My Dick (Criss was originally slated to play Dick in the production). He played Toby in Little White Lie, but he's best known for playing Harry in the Harry Potter musicals. Of the StarKids, Criss has received the most mainstream attention due to his music, his recurring role on Eastwick and his well-publicised casting as Blaine (originally a recurring role, and then regular) in the second and third seasons of Glee. Has an official website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a MySpace page. His EP and his cover of "Teenage Dream" from Glee (the show's best-selling single yet) are both available for sale on iTunes. Due to his busy schedule on Glee, Criss has less involvement in StarKid productions than in their early days. Came up for the original premise of Starship with Joe Walker and wrote the music.
- Julia Albain: Played Crabbe in AVPM, Crabbe & Percy & the Candy Lady in AVPS, Specs in Starship, and Vicki Vale and Zatanna in Holy Musical B@man!. Has a youtube account , a website and a Twitter account.
- Chris Allen: Played Duder in , Alfred in  and Ani in Ani: A Parody.
- Jaime Lyn Beatty: Played Ginny in AVPM, Rita in AVPS, Sally in Me and My Dick (on which she also helped with the video editing), Neato Mosquito in Starship, both Poison Ivy and Candy in Holy Musical B@man!, the big sister in The Trail to Oregon!, and Schwoopsie in Firebringer. She's turned playing The Woobie into an art form. Has a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. She has begun recording new EP titled Dolphin Safe Tunes.
- Richard Campbell: Played Neville in the Harry Potter musicals and Rick in Me and My Dick
- Denise Donovan: Typecast as a Dumb Blonde. Played a number of smaller roles, February in Starship, and Keeri in Firebringer.
- Eric Kahn Gale: Co-writer on Little White Lie and Me and My Dick, as well as writer of a novel called The Bully Book.
- Arielle Goldman: Played Weenie in Me and My Dick and a number of smaller roles (e.g. Hedwig, Lily Potter, and Luna Lovegood) in AVPS.
- Bonnie Gruesen: Played Hermione in AVPM and AVPS. She produced AVPS.
- A.J. Holmes: Actor, songwriter, and musician. He wrote a few of the songs for AVPM and was the band's piano player for the actual production (He's the band member that Voldemort threatens at the end), wrote all the songs (bar three) for Me and My Dick, in which he also played the Heart, and wrote some of the songs in A Very Potter Senior Year, where he also played Gilderoy Lockhart. In Starship, he cameoed the captain of the abandoned starship. As of late, a bit of a Memetic Badass. Has a Twitter account. Also wrote music for and starred in Doppelgänger. Starred as Frederick Frankenstein in the National Tour of Young Frankenstein. Also starred as Elder Cunningham in the second national tour of The Bookof Mormon.
- Lauren Lopez: Played Draco in the Harry Potter musicals, Tanya in Little White Lie, Taz and Bugette Bugington in Starship, Commissioner Gordon, Calendar Man, and Evil King Arthur in Holy Musical B@man!, the little brother in The Trail to Oregon!, and Zazzalil in Firebringer. Has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. She has also released a gluten free cookbook.
- Devin Lytle: Typecast as a Southern Belle. Played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter musicals and Miss Cooter in Me and My Dick. Jokingly plays a Southern Belle.
- Lily Marks: Played a number of minor roles in the the Harry Potter musicals and Me and My Dick. Has a Twitter account.
- Joe Moses: Played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter musicals in addition to a cameo as Rick's dick in Me and My Dick and the role of Krayonder in Starship. Now plays a Cloudcuckoolander version of Snape on his YouTube channel, Potion Masters Corner, where he interviews other members of Team StarKid. Also has a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Joe currently headlines "The Joe Moses Showses", a comedic variety show.
- Jim Povolo: Played Goyle, Firenze, Rumbleroar, and a few minor parts in the Harry Potter musicals, Jim in Little White Lie, the Overqueen and Sweetheart Mosquito in Starship, and Mr. Freeze, Matches, and Hawkman in Holy Musical B@man!. Has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and is the writer of Spaceman X, a Twitter-only serial story. A bit of an Ensemble Darkhorse. Or should that be centaur?
- Joey Richter: Played Ron in the Harry Potter musicals, Joey Richter in Me and My Dick, Bug in Starship, the Bandit King in The Trail to Oregon!, and Grunt in Firebringer. Has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
- Brian Rosenthal Played Quirrell in AVPM, and Seamus Finnigan and James Potter in AVPS.
- Dylan Saunders: Played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter musicals, Pincer and Tootsie Noodles in Starship. and the Narrator, Green Lantern, Scarecrow, Egghead, and Gob in Holy Musical B@man!. Also played Ja'far in Twisted. Dylan is currently working on a solo album, entitled Confluence.
- Rachael Soglin: Played the Princess in Twisted, the mother in The Trail to Oregon!, and Emberly in Firebringer.
- Meredith Stepien: She played one of "The Hot Girls" in Little White Lie, MegaGirl in Starship, the Riddler, Rachel Dawes, and a TGI Friday's worker in Holy Musical B@man!, Hermione in A Very Potter Senior Year, Sherrezade in Twisted, and Jemilla in Firebringer. She has a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.
- Nicholas Joseph Strauss-Matathia: Played the Old Snatch in Me and My Dick, Sirius Black in AVPS, and The Penguin, a cop, and Mr. Mxyptlk in Holy Musical B@man!.
- Carlos Valdes: Co-wrote Me and My Dick and A Very Potter Musical, as well as playing music for the latter. Also wrote Gibson Fleck with other StarKids. More known presently as Cisco Ramon/Vibe in The Flash.
- Joe Walker: Co-wrote Starship, as well as playing Voldemort in AVPM, Umbridge in AVPS, Dick in Me and My Dick, Commander Up in Starship, Batman in Holy Musical B@man!, and Prince Achmed in Twisted. Notable for being able to remain dead sexy in the most ridiculous of costumes. Has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
Their projects are:
- Little White Lie (2007) — a webseries that follows siblings Sami and Duder Reese, high school musicians in a Battle of the Bands-obsessed school who become rockstars after stealing music from a comatose student and tell lie after lie to keep the truth behind their success secret.
- AVPM: A Very Potter Musical (2009) — the one that started it all, is a musical parody of the Harry Potter series that mashes together the plots of books 1, 4, 6 and 7. Renowned for its unique, hilarious and genuinely interesting alternate character interpretations, it went viral in June 2009.
- Me and My Dick (2009) — about Joey Richter and his relationship with his Dick — which walks, talks and has a mind of its own. Joey and Dick attempt to woo Vanessa, the girl of Joey's dreams, not realizing that they are the object of Sally and her Miss Cooter's affections. Think American Pie had it been made by Don Bluth.
- AVPS: A Very Potter Sequel (2010) — the much-anticipated followup, is actually a Time Travel prequel (in the vein of the the 2009 Star Trek movie) that depicts Harry, Ron and Hermione's first year at Hogwarts, mashing together the plots of books 1, 3 and 5, while Death Eaters from the future travel back in time to off Harry.
- Starship (2011) — unlike previous StarKid productions, the live performance took place in Chicago, audience members were charged for their tickets, and the video was released as a DVD as well as on YouTube. It's not about Pigfarts — it's set on a planet of bug aliens and follows a rebellious young bug who finds a crashed human spaceship and becomes fascinated with all the evidence of human culture, only to then meet real humans when another spaceship arrives. Darren Criss described the show as "The Little Mermaid meets Aliens".
- Holy Musical B@man! (2012) — a parody of the DC Comics character Batman, performed in March 2012 and released April 13th on YouTube.
- AVPSY: A Very Potter Senior Year (2012) — the third (and final) Harry Potter musical. StarKid revealed they had been working on the Threequel in early 2011 and had tentatively planned for a performance and online release around the same time as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, but the busy schedule of Darren Criss (his roles in Glee and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) made that impossible. A reading of the script featuring nearly every StarKid actor was presented at LeakyCon 2012 and was released on YouTube on March 15th 2013. Luna Lovegood appeared, played by the real Luna, Evanna Lynch herself.
- Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier (2013) — a parody musical based upon Aladdin and the rest of the Disney Animated Canon from the viewpoint of Ja'far, in the style of Wicked.
- Ani: A Parody (2014) — a parody musical based on Star Wars centering around Anakin "Ani" Skywalker's quest to relive his glory days. It was released on YouTube on October 31, 2014.
- The Trail to Oregon! (2014) — a musical loosely based on The Oregon Trail. With only a cast of 6 actors, Joey Richter plays just about everybody.
- Firebringer (2016) — an original, female-driven musical about cavepeople and the discovery of fire. Performed in August of 2016, premiered on Youtube on January 1, 2017.
- The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals (2018)—a horror-comedy musical about a man and his friends who must fight a sinister force that turns the whole world into a musical. To be performed in fall of 2018, to premiere on YouTube in winter of 2019.
Other works of note:
- The StarKid Announcement Videos: The secondary purpose of these semi-regular videos is to inform people of the dates, times and locations of upcoming shows, answer frequently-asked-questions, pimp the StarKid merchandise and let fans know about changes to the website or other things. The main purpose of these videos is to make you laugh your ass off.
- The Digitour: In 2011, Team StarKid were part of the Digitour, a travelling tour of musicians and acts who became famous via YouTube. Joey Richter, Brian Holden, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Lauren Lopez, Joe Walker, Dylan Saunders and A.J. Holmes performed songs from AVPM and AVPS, Me and My Dick and Starship in front of live audiences.
- Funtastic Slamaganza: In 2011, Team StarKid had a charity event to benefit Snow City Arts. It was a variety performance featuring most of the members of Team StarKid who live in Chicago. It included songs from the musicals, songs by Jim and the Povolos, Standup by Meredith Stepien, as well as other acts by the StarKids. This is also where the first announcement was made confirming A Very Potter Senior Year for 2012.
- The SPACE Tour: Similar to the Digitour and Funtastic Slamaganza, the SPACE Tour is a performance of various StarKid songs that toured through the U.S. Midwest and East Coast. Charlene Kaye, who is a friend of most of the members of Team StarKid from college, is opening on the tour. The tour includes the eastern United States and London... Ontario. A concert album of the New York City show was released on March 13, 2012. A DVD based on the tour including behind-the-scenes footage was released later that month on the 24th.
- Apocalyptour: StarKid's second national tour, which is more story driven than the SPACE Tour. The StarKids, having given up singing and dancing, have turned to their true passion of archaeological digs until they unearth the Mayan God of Chaos and Death, Margaret, who is ready to bring about the 2012 apocalypse. Fortunately, Margaret is also the Mayan God of Musical Theater, and gives the StarKids a chance to save the world by putting on a concert. Unlike the SPACE Tour, Apocalyptour visited several venues on the West Coast.
- Airport For Birds (And Other Great Ideas): The team's first sketch show presented in partnership with Second City Chicago in January-March 2013.
- 1-Night-2-Last-3-Ever: A second sketch show which was performed in Fall 2013. It centered around the fictional boy band 3Ever and featuring sketches based around 1990's culture and nostalgia.
- Starkid Takes Manhattan: The fifth anniversary of AVPM, with songs from all of their previous shows, including Twisted.
- Starkid Summer Season 2014: In addition to performing The Trail to Oregon! and Ani: A Parody the team also put on various shows on a smaller-scale. These shows were performed late at night after the musicals and ranged from sketch comedy, to stand up, to dance and everything in between.
Tropes associated with the works of Team StarKid:
- All Musicals Are Adaptations: Played with in that their adaptations are unlicensed parodies. Averted with Dick, Starship, and Firebringer, which are original.
- Breakup Breakout: Averted. There were fears that Team StarKid might fall apart without Darren Criss' involvement, but the group has gone on to be even stronger than before (and Criss does participate in projects with them when he has time to).
- Creator Thumbprint
- Cross-Cast Role: But for laughs, rather than any practical reason.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Lauren Lopez is a big offender.
- Fan Nickname: DCriss (Darren Criss); Brosenthal (Brian Rosenthal); Lolo (Lauren Lopez); Meredif (Meredith Stepien); Brolden (Brian Holden)
- Dylan Saunders is actually Jewish, but he cranked it Up to Eleven for Dumbledore.
- It can be assumed from Lauren Lopez's last name that she has at least some Hispanic ancestry, but she exaggerates it as Taz.
- Iconic Item
- Joey Richter's headband, which he's worn as three of his characters.
- In several of their shows, every single character wears Chuck Taylor shoes.
- The plain door on stage left in all but the most dramatic of their shows.
- One of Us: Many of the writers are big fans of Marvel super heroes. Nick Lang and a few others are admitted My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans
- One-Woman Song: "Sami", full stop.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There are three Joes, two Brians and two Nicks.
- Promoted Fanboy: Among the cast members for Twisted is the team's fan-turned-friend, Robert Manion
- Puppet Shows: Both Harry Potter musicals feature a puppet or two, and Starship is chock full of them.
- Rewritten Pop Version: Of "Sami", "Not Alone", "Even Though", "Ready to Go", "Stutter", "1001 Nights".
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Characters in Starkid shows never gasp, they only ever exclaim the word "Gasp!"
- Shout-Out: References to High School Musical, Avatar: The Last Airbender and (of course) Harry Potter are abundant throughout their projects, as the Team (particularly the writers) are huge fans. It's to the point where they have their own page.
- Southern Belle: If Devin Lytle is involved.
- Unfortunate Names: Nick Lang has a coincidental one. He shares the name of a porn star, which makes looking him up on Google Images kinda impossible.