Revisiting the Classics: Schmigadoon!

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 / 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM (PDT)
  • Pollock Theater
  • Screening Format: 4K digital projection (60 mins)
  • With Christopher Willis (composer)
  • Creators: Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio
    Starring: Cecily Strong, Keegan Michael-Key

Three years on from their romantic meet-cute, things have become monotonous for New York doctors Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh (Keegan Michael-Key). With the spark between them smothered by incessant bickering, they embark on a backpacking trip in the hopes of patching up their relationship. After losing their way in the woods, they stumble upon the strange town of Schmigadoon, which they soon discover is trapped in Golden Age-style Hollywood studio musical.

In a twist on the premise of Vincente Minnelli’s 1954 musical classic Brigadoon, Melissa and Josh learn that their only chance of escaping Schmigadoon and returning to their normal lives is to (re)discover true love. Featuring dazzling song-and-dance numbers and a stellar cast of Broadway luminaries including Kristen Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Tituss Burgess, and Aaron Tveit, Schmigadoon! is a loving, tongue-in-cheek homage to the musical spectaculars of decades past and a charming showcase for the sparkling lyrics of creator Cinco Paul and composer Christopher Willis. This event will feature two episodes of Schmigadoon!: S1E1, “Schmigadoon!” and S2E2, “Welcome to Schmicago.”

In this event, composer Christopher Willis will join moderator Tyler Morgenstern (Assistant Director, Carsey-Wolf Center) for a post-screening discussion of his work composing the underscore for Schmigadoon!

This event is free but a reservation is recommended in order to guarantee a seat.



Composer Christopher Willis

Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, songwriter, and pianist Christopher Willis enjoys an unusually diverse career that spans film and television soundtracks, interactive media, popular music, and concert works. He trained as a concert pianist at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and later as a musicologist, earning a PhD on eighteenth-century music from Cambridge University.

Building on the success of his collaboration with Armando Iannucci on the hit HBO comedy series Veep, he wrote the acclaimed Soviet-inspired score to Iannucci’s dark political satire The Death of Stalin, which won Best Original Score for a Comedy Film by the International Film Music Critics Association. Their third collaboration, The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel, was awarded IFMCA’s 2020 Film Score of the Year.

His eclectic body of work also includes Apple TV+’s Schmigadoon! (Primetime Emmy nomination), Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard, Netflix’s Black Mirror, Bill Burr’s directorial debut Old Dads, the Rumi-inspired animated feature Lamya’s Poem, and an album of new orchestral arrangements of songs by the late Eva Cassidy, I Can Only Be Me, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Headshot of Tyler Morgenstern. The black and white image depicts a man wearing a scarf and floral button-up long sleeve shirt. He is smiling and posed in front of a nature background which features a pond, large trees and mountains.

Moderator Tyler Morgenstern

Tyler Morgenstern is Assistant Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and an alumnus of the UCSB Film and Media Studies PhD program. As a scholar, his research focused on the media and technological cultures of empire and settler colonialism. He completed his dissertation, Colonial Recursion and Decolonial Maneuver in the Cybernetic Diaspora in 2021, and has published in journals including International Journal of Communication, Media+Environment, and Synoptique. With Krista Lynes and Ian Alan Paul, he is also co-editor of Moving Images: Mediating Migration as Crisis (Transcript Verlag, 2020).

 This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.

Revisiting the Classics

What happens when a film becomes a “classic”? The Carsey-Wolf Center’s 2023-24 feature series Revisiting the Classics engages creatively and critically with our filmic past, approaching it with fresh eyes and novel interpretive lenses. Not simply a celebration of the “great works,” Revisiting the Classics will consider how classic texts have shaped the work of contemporary filmmakers, how complicated questions of politics and aesthetics emerge through practices of adaptation and interpretation, and how the changing landscape of film distribution, archiving, preservation, and critique affects the formation of canon and the making of new “classics.”


In recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments of the Center’s namesakes, Dick Wolf and Marcy Carsey, the Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to examining television as an institution, industry, and cultural form. In our post-network, multi-channel, multi-media environment, understanding television demands understanding its past as well as its future, through exploration of individual episodes, mini-series, and documentaries.