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Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical Interview

Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical is a surprisingly historically accurate parody musical inspired by *NSYNC, featuring 12 original songs and plenty of 90s nostalgia. Created by Valen Shore, a songwriter/artist whose work has been featured on Riverdale, Lucifer, and Pretty Little Liars, and award-winning writer, actor and filmmaker Alison Zatta, this punchy piece includes music direction by Taylor J Williams (Hamilton; Moulin Rouge!) and sound design by Josh Millican (SIX The Musical; The Band's Visit).

It's Christmas Eve 2009, seven years into the world-famous boy band's indefinite hiatus, and *NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick has until midnight to make a wish that could change his life forever. A Christmas Carol meets It's A Wonderful Life meets *NSYNC in this laugh-out-loud original musical.

Photo by Matt Kamimura

After a successful run at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe the show is now transferring to Seven Dials Playhouse in December. Ahead of the Fringe run we
 sat down the team to discuss the show.

What inspired you to write your piece?
We grew up during the boy band boom of the late 90s/early 2000s, so the whole phenomenon - the music, the dances, the videos - was part of the fabric of our adolescence. There was something so fascinating about a hugely successful band like *NSYNC deciding to go on hiatus right when they were on top of the world - yet never officially breaking up. We were still intrigued by the story years later when it became increasingly clear that there would be no likely reunion, so we started writing Chriskirkpatrickmas. Chris was a natural choice to focus on, both because he founded *NSYNC and because his story is the least told.

How did you approach merging music by *NYSNC and creating your own music?
We always knew we would be writing original songs, not using any of *NSYNC's music. When we first started, we did plan to lean into that boy band pop style of production throughout the show, but realised early on that there was something really compelling about having these contemporary, well-known characters express themselves with a sound so different than what we're used to hearing from them. It helps get past the preconceptions we have about these people we think we know.

There are several nods to *NSYNC's discography in Chriskirkpatrickmas (like our song titled "It's Gonna Be"); and we do have one song that deliberately mimics boy band-style production. But the best way to describe our musical style is pop infused with heart-warming Disney magic on a shoestring budget.

What are your fondest memories of the 90s and how do you hope to evoke those memories?
Pay phones, Big Gulps, learning dances from MTV with our friends at slumber parties and performing them at talent shows. Our show is full of 90s fashion, boy band-inspired choreography, era-appropriate technology, and some very recognizable hairstyles.

Photo by Matt Kamimura

What do you want an audience member to take away from seeing the show?
A newfound appreciation for Chris Kirkpatrick and a renewed interest in learning all the choreography to Bye Bye Bye.

What performances/shows have inspired you?
The works of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Tim Minchin, and Stephen Sondheim. We're also inspired by other shows that lean into parody or treat an absurd concept seriously - Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis's Urinetown, Matt Cox's Puffs, and Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers' Matt & Ben.

Can you describe the show in 3 words?
Boy Band Musical.

Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical runs at Seven Dials Playhouse from Friday 1st until Saturday 30th December 2023. Tickets are available from

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