The third season of the hit Hulu series Only Murders in the Building already had a stacked cast of theatre favorites and Broadway veterans lined up—including Ashley Park, Meryl Streep, Jesse Williams, and Andrea Martin—but what could make it feel more like a theatre company? The series' producers decided: show tunes, of course.
In the new season, the amateur podcasting detectives, played by Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez, return with a new mystery at their feet. On opening night of a new Broadway show produced by Oliver (Short), the leading actor (Paul Rudd) falls down dead on stage.
Thus, Oliver's fictional musical in the show, Death Rattle Dazzle, needed real Broadway-type music to be featured on screen. The show's co-creator, John Joffman, called in Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman) to compose the songs, and they signed on under one special condition: that they could bring on Broadway songwriters to help them.
The music team quickly turned into a big Broadway roster, with Martin's character's song written by Some Like It Hot's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and Streep's 11 o'clock number written by A Strange Loop's Pulitzer and Tony-winning writer Michael R. Jackson. Pop star and Waitress composer and creator Sara Bareilles also co-wrote a duet for Streep and Park.
“It was just through and through a Broadway experience—there are just cameras filming it,” Paul said in an interview with The New York Times. “There was that same sort of ensemble sense, whether it was Meryl or Paul Rudd or Marty or Steve, that everybody was making this show together.”
The first two of ten episodes of Only Murders in the Building dropped on Hulu on August 8, with new episodes every week following. See the trailer above for a sneak peek—and look out for Broadway cameos.