Fresh off his Emmy® win, Composer Theodore Shapiro (“Severance”) releases his latest score on Lakeshore Records: The Good House—Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, available now digitally! Shapiro foregoes the minimal cool of his “Severance” score embracing much warmer orchestrations that reflect the interpersonal relationships within a picturesque New England town.
The Roadhouse Pictures film produced by Amblin Partners is directed by Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky and stars Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. If hearing Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline’s names together sounds familiar, the two previously co-starred in the 1993 Academy Award-nominated film, Dave.
The Good House film now playing in theaters (get tickets).
Notes Shapiro: “The music of ‘The Good House’ was inspired primarily by the film’s setting. The choices of orchestration and harmony come from my impressions of New England. I also explored the sounds of pitched wine glasses— both struck and rubbed— as a way of sonically entering the world of Hildy’s struggle with alcoholism.”
Soundtrack Available Now: [Download/Listen]
01. Welcome To Wendover
02. What Do You Mean Now?
03. It Was Your Birthday
04. The Intervention
05. Frank Offers Help
06. A House Too Clean
07. Rebecca’s Kiss
09. Thanksgiving Is A Lot To Ask
10. What Else Do You Know?
11. Frankie Getchell Jackpot
12. The Spoken Word
13. Stop Right Now
14. Come Early, Come Often
15. The Dwight House Sells
16. What Did You Do?
18. Help Me
19. Better Than The Original
ABOUT THEODORE SHAPIRO
“The thing that I love to do is solve puzzles,” says Theodore Shapiro. “And to me, every score is like a puzzle that you crack.”
His latest is the hypnotic mystery inside Severance, the Apple TV+ series helmed by Ben Stiller. The score travels an infinitely looping staircase of chords as Adam Scott’s hapless office worker, whose work-life brain has been “severed” from his home-life self, looks for answers. “It was such an essential part of the process to have Teddy’s music before we began shooting,” says Stiller, Shapiro’s longtime collaborator. “It’s almost another character in the show. His score is both emotional and evocative… it defines the world.”
Shapiro is like a character actor, putting on different musical costumes and adopting accents to disappear into roles much like Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which he scored with rays of churchy sunshine that belied hidden sadness—or like the women of Fox News in Bombshell, a score that weaponized female vocals to tell the story of their revolt.
He pulled a jazzy con with Gene Hackman in Heist, accentuated the tyranny of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, made the tears flow in Marley & Me, and found the humanity in an incorrigible Bill Murray in St. Vincent. One of his darkest scores to date was for Karyn Kusama’s police drama, Destroyer, starring Nicole Kidman—which The A.V. Club described as “knife-on-bone.”
For more than two decades, Shapiro has been solving cinematic puzzles both light and dark. He scored some of Hollywood’s classic comedies—including Idiocracy, Old School, Tropic Thunder, and Dodgeball—with regular collaborators such as Paul Feig, Todd Phillips, and Jay Roach. He’s also cracked the code of political dramas (the Emmy-nominated Game Change, Trumbo), adventures both animated (Spies in Disguise), and unconventional (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), as well as sexy, stylish mysteries (A Simple Favor).
That versatile, musical codebreaking began when Shapiro was five, drawn to the family piano like a magnet. Growing up in a household where music was “part of the ambient ethos,” in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., his diet was a healthy mix of Debussy and the Beatles. He played throughout high school and college, and after majoring in music at Brown University, where he also scored and acted in theater, he sharpened his compositional skills at Juilliard—studying with renowned composer John Corigliano.
His classical chops took him to the concert hall, where his works have been performed by orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and the New York Chamber Symphony.
But his first love, ever since he got sucked into the cinematic adventure of Raiders of the Lost Ark and fell under the spell of Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Chinatown as a boy, was the movies. “The idea of marrying composition with some sort of a narrative format, that was what spoke most to me,” he says. “I always liked the wide accessibility of film, and the openness of film scoring as a medium. I feel like movies have such a wide-open canvas that they encompass—and that has always excited me.”
When his fellow Brown alums, Michael Showalter and David Wain, co-created the sketch comedy series The State for MTV, Shapiro was eager to write for the screen. He was simultaneously scoring student films for another former classmate, John Hamburg, who introduced Shapiro’s outsized talents to the future filmmakers at NYU—and soon a full-fledged film scoring career was born.
After the success of his first feature, the Sundance darling Hurricane Streets, and the Michelle Rodriguez-starring boxing drama, Girlfight, Shapiro had Hollywood’s attention. He’s since collaborated with top-flight filmmakers in a smorgasbord of genres, treating each film—whether playing for laughs or drama—with a musical seriousness that not only demonstrates his serious technique but strengthens the movies in the process. No matter the mood, the director, or the star… they’re all puzzles.
“Whether it’s coming up with the right melodic material, or instrumental choices, or even just solving individual cues and how to tell the story in the best way,” he says, “that just fascinates me, and I love the challenge of it, and I love the process of it. It’s really that part of my person that loves to decode things and work out these problems that drives my creative process, and makes my job really fun.”
Sigourney Weaver delivers a stellar performance as Hildy Good, a realtor in an idyllic New England town, whose wickedly funny tongue and seeming success mask her life’s one dark truth: She enjoys her wine a bit too much. But Hildy’s good at keeping it together — until, that is, a rekindled romance with high school flame Frank Getchell (Kevin Kline) sets in motion a chain of events that forces a decades-in-the-making confrontation with Hildy’s buried past. Based on the best-selling novel, The Good House is a multifaceted portrait of a proud, resilient woman who wouldn’t think of asking for help…and whose life won’t change until she does.