Colored Lights

Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz

John Kander and Fred Ebb as told to Greg Lawrence; Introduction by Liza Minnelli; Foreword by Harold Prince

Faber and Faber, Inc.

Download Image John Kander and Fred Ebb as told to Greg Lawrence; Introduction by Liza Minnelli; Foreword by Harold Prince Colored Lights

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The autobiography, in dialogue, of the composer and lyricist of Chicago and Cabaret as well as a wise and witty memoir of forty years of American musicals.

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are the longest-running composer-lyricist team in Broadway history, having first joined forces in 1962. The creators of such groundbreaking musicals as Chicago, Cabaret, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, Kander and Ebb have helped to push American musical theater in a more daring direction, both musically and dramatically. Their impact on individual performers has been great as well, starting with the handpicked star of their first musical: an untested nineteen-year-old named Liza Minnelli (who writes of this experience in her introduction).

Colored Lights covers the major shows of Kander and Ebb's partnership, from Flora, The Red Menace (starring a then-unknown Liza) to The Visit, due to open on Broadway in 2004. The pages and musicals in between reveal what has made theirs such a long-lived musical partnership--and one so valued by the artists they have worked with. In recounting the genesis and controversies of Cabaret, reflecting on the superstar mentality of such artist as Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, and recalling their work with Bob Fosse on Chicago (as well as their views on the blockbuster 2002 film), John Kander and Fred Ebb provide a history not only of their own lives but also of the American musical theater of the late twentieth century.

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Book Excerpts

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Colored Lights
ONEAnd Then We WroteBroadway's longest-running music-and-lyrics team, John Kander and Fred Ebb marked the fortieth anniversary of their collaboration with a series of conversations aimed at chronicling their careers. These discussions took place over the kitchen table in Ebb's home, an elegant retreat on Manhattan's Central Park West where the songwriters have worked during most of their years together. A few blocks away in Kander's brownstone, one of the living room walls displays a piece of memorabilia that aptly defines their enduring relationship.

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Reviews

Praise for Colored Lights

"I recognized Fred Ebb and John Kander's talent at the very beginning, and now the world has. They are the best--a class act!"
--Kaye Ballard

"A fascinating conversation with Broadway's greatest collaborators. You are constantly moved by John and Fred's warmth, humor, humility, and undeniable brilliance."
--Rob Marshall

"I was enthralled reading Colored Lights. It made me proud that I was fortunate enough to have performed their play, Woman of the Year. They stood by my side when I wanted to sing a ballad (the title of which escapes me at the moment) that they wrote, and was subsequently taken out, but I wanted to sing the number when I heard the score. They treated all this "drama" as if I was originating the show. The song was put in because they loved it also. The number was a smash! I adore their talents! I adore them! I loved their book!!"
--Debbie Reynolds

"It was a joy working with Kander and Ebb and this book shows what makes them so special. They are not only brilliantly talented, they are totally honest and have a deep respect for each other, for their colleagues, and for the musical theater. Colored Lights gets you to know two wonderful guys who became one creative team."
--Joe Stein, cowriter of the musical Zorba the Greek and Fiddler on the Roof

"Wa wa wow
Boy oh boy
All that jazz
All that joy
From my heart
Simply said
Who’s the best?
John and Fred!"
-Jerry Herman, composer and lyricist, Mame and La Cage aux Folles

"Even though I’ve had the privilege and great happiness of collaborating with John Kander and Fred Ebb, I’ve always wanted to be a fly on the wall of the music room in Fred’s apartment where they write together after I’ve gone. Colored Lights is that fly. It is filled with s20fascinating, illuminating and very, very savvy stuff. It is the authentic voice of these two iconic gentlemen themselves."
--Terrence McNally

"There is a song in Flora, the Red Menace called "All I Need in One Good Break." I got my good break when I met Kander and Ebb. I can't think of a better way to hear the history of Broadway than from the masters themselves."
--Susan Stroman

"Kander and Ebb: two breaths of fresh air. One can't sing their praises--or their songs--often enough."
--Larry Gelbart

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About the Author

John Kander and Fred Ebb as told to Greg Lawrence; Introduction by Liza Minnelli; Foreword by Harold Prince

John Kander was born in Kansas City, Missouri; Fred Ebb in New York City; Greg Lawrence in Somerville, New Jersey. All three live in New York City.

John Kander
Fred Ebb
Greg Lawrence

©Rosalie O'Connor
Greg Lawrence

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Available Formats and Book Details

Colored Lights
Forty Years of Words and Music, Show Biz, Collaboration, and All That Jazz
John Kander and Fred Ebb as told to Greg Lawrence; Introduction by Liza Minnelli; Foreword by Harold Prince

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Faber & Faber
Faber and Faber, Inc.
October 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429928328
ISBN10: 1429928328
256 pages, 16 Pages of Black-and-White Photographs
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Faber & Faber
Faber and Faber, Inc.
October 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780571211692
ISBN10: 0571211690
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages, 16 Pages of Black-and-White Photographs
$20.00
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