Our two-part series on John Kander and Fred Ebb
Richard Seff remembers Broadway greats Kander and Ebb
Interviewed by Joel Markowitz
He knew them as well, perhaps, as anyone. One day, Fred Ebb and writing partner Paul Klein turned up to audition for 23 year old Broadway actor-turned agent Richard Seff. Not long after, a lifetime friendship was sparked when Richard met young John Kander. Richard was there when the partnership was struck, represented their first musicals, and recounts it all in an exclusive look-back on the young men who went on to write Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Cabaret, Curtains, and many others.
Click here to listen
Our Exclusive Interview with John Kander
Interviewed by Richard Seff
Recorded by Joel Markowitz
“Sondheim, Herman, Fred and I – we’re the last generation of musical theatre writers who were allowed to fail.” This candid composer remembers his hits and flops, and the songs that are closest to his heart.
But mostly, it’s the quiet things: coming upon an orchestra in a Venice piazza playing his music; getting ready to see The Happy Time revived in an intimate setting at Signature Theatre, “Gower Champion fell in love with projections, and the actors got lost.” Or realizing, after he created it, that ‘I Miss the Music’, which he wrote for Curtains, is really about his 42 year partnership with Fred Ebb, who died in 2004.
These days , John finds himself “being Fred Ebb”, as he says goodbye and returns to his workroom to write the final music and words for The Visit, which stars Chita Rivera and caps off Signature’s Kander and Ebb Festival.
Listen to this remarkable conversation here.
Jason Danieley sings ‘I Miss the Music ‘. See it here.