by Jane Roser
“An epic saga of mean girl princesses and bloody musical warfare.” No, this isn’t a Disneyfied Tromo film, this is something new under the sun. With 940 backers (so far) raising a whopping $44,052 of their $45,000 Kickstarter goal, L.A.-based creators Matthew Mercer and Zach Grafton (they also created the hit web series “There Will Be Brawl” and “School Of Thrones”) have been working on their newest web series “Muzzled The Musical” for the past three years and are about to see all of their hard work come to it’s fruition.
The story takes place in the Royal Kingdom of Serenadia where singing means power. The Golden King has declared all Blackhearts must bear the Muzzle-a magical tattoo that punishes those who try to sing. But Malfalia, the headstrong daughter of the Black Matron is determined to shed her Muzzle and belt out a tune. The cast is a who’s who of hit internet shows and pop culture icons, including Ashley Clements (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), Ashly Burch (Hey Ash, Watcha Playin), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules:The Legendary Journeys) and Juliet Landau (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel).
Backers are rewarded with lots of nifty things, including temporary Muzzle tattoos (this is my reward and I think I may befuddle my parents and show up wearing it to church on Christmas. It’ll be my excuse as to why I can’t sing “Angels We Have Heard On High” for the billionth time), autographed photos, a personal outgoing voice message recorded for you by the cast or a chance to be in the cast recording. If Grease had such an awesome prize packet back in the day, I’d have jumped at the chance to sing “You’re The One That I Want” while rocking tight leather pants and a massive amount of hairspray. Hit up this Kickstarter campaign now, because there’s only five days left to rock n’ roll.
L.A. musician Jason Charles Miller got involved with the project two years ago and he brought Sorbo and Landau on board. “Juliet and I first met when she directed a Godhead (Miller’s critically acclaimed gothic/industrial band) video and I met Kevin years ago at a Hollywood function, then I played at a charity event for him and
we’ve stayed in touch ever since.” Yes, Hercules and Drusilla sing, which is just all kinds of awesome.
Inspired by fairy tales, Mercer and Grafton decided on a music as power storyline, so you could sing a song and a tree would grow or cast a spell with a funky ditty. Miller says, “the idea is that this world is divided. If you are on the side of the “good guys” then you’re allowed to sing, but if you’re a “bad guy” then you have a magical Muzzle attached to your throat that prevents you from singing. The “bad guys” are called Blackhearts and the story follows Malfalia, who secretly wants to be a princess, but the show blurs the lines between good and evil and what
specifically defines them. Here you have a group of bratty princesses that are allowed to sing, but they might not be the nicest people.”
Mercer and Grafton wrote the script and Miller penned the music and lyrics. “I always confer with Matthew and Zach when writing lyrics because when you’re writing songs for a musical, you need to have a marriage of a great song that stands alone and people can sing along to it, but it also has to propel the story forward.”
Miller recently co-wrote “Cruisin’ For A Bruisin'” for the Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie that became the film’s single and shot all the way up the Billboard charts. “Now all of a sudden I have all of this musical street cred,” he jokes. Miller was nominated for a Radio Disney Award for the song which prompted him to mention in a hilarious Facebook post: “Never thought I’d be writing these words. Ever.”
With a killer cast, creative crew and catchy tunes, “Muzzled The Musical” will be epic, but only you can decide how much so. When the Kickstarter campaign reaches it’s initial goal, that will fund three episodes and every $15,000 over that goal will fund another episode. So what are you waiting for? Don’t be Muzzled.