Cover art for podcast ATW - Downstage Center

ATW - Downstage Center

357 EpisodesProduced by American Theatre WingWebsite

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.


John Kander (#300) - December, 2010

Composer John Kander talks about his decades-long collaboration with Fred Ebb, with particular focus on the four projects that were not fully completed before Ebb's death in 2004: "The Scottsboro Boys", "The Visit", "All About Us" (aka "Over and Over") and "Curtains", speaking directly to the issues of utilizing the minstrel show construct for "Scottsboro". He recalls his first meeting Ebb and their earliest, never produced collaboration, "Golden Gate"; beginning work on "Cabaret", at the behest of Hal Prince, the morning after "Flora the Red Menace" opened; what factors resulted in "Chicago" being only a moderate success in the 70s but a smash in the 90s; why he thinks musicals are best written at a certain "remove" from their subjects; whether he believes there is a "signature" Kander and Ebb writing style; how he, Ebb and and their collaborators spent a great deal of time talking, asking "what if," long before any writing began; whether any of the more than 60 songs written for "Cabaret", most unused, will ever escape his "trunk"; what it was like to write for the particular voices of Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera; whether he thinks writing teams benefit from working in the same room, as he and Ebb did throughout their career together; and what he's working on now. Kander also demonstrates how the same melody can be used to change tone over the course of a show, using examples from "Cabaret" and "The Visit". Original air date - December 29, 2010.

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