Kander and Ebb
, for whom they wrote a considerable amount of material for the stage, concerts and television.
John Kander and Fred Ebb were introduced by their mutual music publisher Tommy Valando in 1963. They first collaborated on a small show called "Golden Gate", which producer-director
Harold Princecalled "...basically a test to see if the collaboration was any good." They wrote " Flora the Red Menace", their first musical to be produced on Broadway, in 1965, in which Liza Minnelli made her Broadway debut. Another early collaboration was the industrial musical"General Electric presents Go Fly a Kite" written with Walter Marks for General Electric's 5th Electric Executives Conference in Williamsburg, Virginiain 1966.
Kander's and Ebb's greatest acclaim came from the musical "Cabaret" (1966) and the 1972 film version. The musical, directed by frequent collaborator
Harold Prince, was a major success, with a Broadway run of over 1,100 performances. It won a Tony Awardas the season's best musical, and its original cast recording won a Grammy Award. The film, directed by Bob Fosse, won eight Academy Awards. The musical "Chicago" (1975), which was initially a lukewarm success, was rewritten in 1996 and became a hit. It has become the longest-running revival in Broadway history, and the "2002 film version" was also a great success, including an Oscar nomination for the collaboration. Other Broadway successes included "Woman of the Year" (1981), "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1992), " Fosse" (1999), and, posthumously for Ebb, "Curtains" (2006).
Minnelli became strongly associated with Kander and Ebb, with Ebb producing Minelli's Emmy-winning television special "Liza With a Z". They appreciated the actress's excellent musicianship and found her congenial to work with. Kander said, "One of the nice things about writing for Liza is that you don't have to write for Liza. She can do anything. You know that whatever you do write, she's going to deliver it exactly the way you intended it. It's really the same with Chita Rivera, the other woman in our lives." ["The Art Of The American Musical: Conversations With The Creators", Jackson R. Bryer, Richard Allan Davison, p. 102, 2005, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 0813536138]
Kander's and Ebb's fascination with the collaborative process began with their work on "Cabaret", where a long experimental period permitted actors such as
Joel Greyto contribute ideas toward the creation of their characters. The creative team often met at Harold Prince's home to discuss ideas. These sessions are discussed in the Kander and Ebb biography, "Colored Lights", as 'what if' sessions. ["Colored Lights: Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz", John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Greg Lawrence, p. 61, November 5, 2003, Faber & Faber, ISBN-10: 057121133X]
In 1998, Kander and Ebb were recognized for their contributions to theatre and music with
Kennedy Center Honors.
In 1994, they were granted honorary
Doctoratedegrees from Niagara University, in Lewiston, New York.
Flora the Red Menace" (1965)
Go Fly a Kite" (1966), an industrial musicalfor General Electric
*"The Happy Time" (1968)
70, Girls, 70" (1971)
*"The Act" (1978)
*"Woman of the Year" (1981)
*"The Rink" (1984)
And The World Goes 'Round" (1991)
*"Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1992)
*"Steel Pier" (1997)
*"Over and Over" aka "All About Us" (a.k.a. "The Skin of Our Teeth") (1999)
*"The Visit" (2001)
* [http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3725&source_type=A Kennedy Center bio Fred Ebb]
* [http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3938&source_type=A Kennedy Center bio John Kander]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/broadway/stars/kander_j.html PBS biography]
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