Oscar telecast producer Joe Roth announced that Shaiman will serve as musical director and conductor for Billy Crystal, who will host the annual awards ceremony next month. Shaiman received an Emmy Award for his last outing with Crystal, when he co-wrote the actor's "Oscar Medleys," which opened the 72nd Academy Awards. In a statement, producer Roth said, "Marc's significant talent is evident in the memorable films and television shows that he has worked on, as well as his Broadway musical version of 'Hairspray.' His contribution to the musical architecture of the 76th Academy Awards show will make him a tremendous addition to the production team."
Marc Shaiman wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics — with his partner, Scott Wittman — for Hairspray, the Tony Award-winning musical at the Neil Simon Theatre. The duo also received the 2003 Tony Award for Best Score for their musical based on the classic John Waters film. Shaiman has composed, arranged music and/or written lyrics for more than 50 films, winning Academy Award nominations for his work on "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," "Patch Adams," "The First Wives Club," "The American President" and "Sleepless in Seattle." He has also received two Grammy nominations, and his work can currently be heard in the new motion picture, "The Cat in the Hat."
ABC will broadcast the 76th Academy Awards, which will be presented Feb. 29 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA.