Former CEO Martin Shkreli Now Has An Entire — Unflattering — Musical About Him

Did you somehow become comfortably lulled into thinking 2016 had already crested Peak Weird? If so, you clearly got there a little too early. Today’s case in point: The ousted CEO that America loves to hate, Martin Shkreli, is back in the news this month… as the villain of an off-Broadway musical.

As Bloomberg reports, Shkreli is both villain and title character in the new musical Martin Shkreli’s Game, which is playing this month in New York as part of the Midtown International Theater Festival.

The play, which features songs like, “I’m Martin F*****g Shkreli and You Can All Go F*** Yourselves,” according to Bloomberg, involves a complicated plot to steal an album back from Shkreli’s possession. You can hear (work-safe) samples, if you like, in a fundraising video released by the play’s writers.

Let’s backtrack a minute to recap who Shkreli is, why the internet hates him, and also how the heist plot fits in to all this:

Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, who you may also know as “Pharma Bro,” is not a particluarly well-loved man, it’s true. He made headlines for jacking the price of a generic drug his company sold by about 5400% and then telling the New York Times, “it really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this.”

A few months later he was arrested for allegations of securities fraud with a company he had been CEO of before Turing. He resigned from Turing the day after that arrest then, a week later, got ousted from yet another CEO gig.

As if that weren’t enough for any one man, Shkreli stayed in the news into the new year, when it became publicly known that he had not only paid $2 million for, but also was being sued over, the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Shkreli was later dropped from the suit, but not before he was hauled before a Congressional panel where he refused to answer any questions about either Turing Pharmaceuticals or Wu-Tang Clan.

A smug and venal CEO is one kind of story; when the album entered, though, everything went, well, straight to 100% weird.

A joke pretending to be the contract of sale Shkreli signed with Wu-Tang Clan circulated rapidly online. The “contract” included a clause permitting “one heist or caper” to steal back the album, provided that said caper was carried out by currently active members of Wu-Tang Clan and/or Bill Murray.

Yes, THAT Bill Murray.

Yes, THAT Bill Murray.

The internet being what it is, the nominal Bill Murray heist immediately became a popular and widely-traveling meme, and he and Wu-Tang Clan have remained at some weird subconscious level entwined in social media’s collective imagination ever since.

The young actor taking on the starring role as Shkreli went with a Bloomberg reporter to a court hearing Shkreli attended this month, to see the man in person. He told the reporter that the man in person is exactly as he expected from the internet: “Everything but the screen was the same,” he said.

The actor also described the experience to Bloomberg as “One of the weirdest things I’ve done in a while,” adding, “I felt like the court jester.”

Martin Shkreli Back in the Spotlight as Musical Theater Villain [Bloomberg]

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