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A satiric twist

Andy Kirshner, a University of Michigan Associate Professor of Music, Art, and Design has written and composed what may be the world’s first “girl meets girl” movie-musical.  In the tradition of “Guys and Dolls,” but with the satirical edge of “The Colbert Report,” the new film will begin shooting in around Ann Arbor next fall.

The movie follows the rise of Liberty Smith, the squeaky clean daughter of a “family values” preacher, who becomes a national political sensation, but then inconveniently falls in love with her (female) public relations coach.   When a kissing video goes viral, young Liberty must choose between the life she knows, and the love she wants.

Like the “backstage” musicals of an earlier era, the film offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a life in “show-biz,” but instead of Broadway chorus-lines and dazzling production numbers, Liberty’s Secret showcases the carefully rehearsed spectacle of modern American politics.

“It occurred to me that the perfect form for the satirical work I imagined was a movie-musical,” said Kirshner. “That’s essentially what national political campaigns have become.  The spirit of a classic MGM musical is definitely alive and well in the elaborate multimedia performances we call political conventions.  I also wanted to make a musical film that would affirm the possibility (and reality) of many different kinds of loving relationships.  It’s a musical for the post-DOMA, pro-Equality generation.”

The film will star actresses Devon Perry and Alli Brown, two recent graduates of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance who are now up-and-coming actors in New York.

Professor Kirshner is an award-winning composer, theatre artist, and filmmaker whose work has been commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, Artserve Michigan, Meet the Composer, the Dia Art Foundation, Michigan Public Media, and many others.  He teaches in the department of Performing Arts and Technology at U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance and offers classes in Video and Visual Effects at the Stamps School of Art & Design.

PHOTO (ABOVE RIGHT): Alli Brown and Devon Perry in a scene from “Liberty’s Secret: The 100% All-American Musical,” by Andy Kirshner.

Songs, trailer, and more images available at:
Complete sample scene available at:
— Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design