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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; With an Introduction by Liza Minnelli and a Foreword by Harold Prince

Faber & Faber

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb were the longest-running composer-lyricist partnership in Broadway history, having first joined forces in 1962. (Ebb died in 2004.) The fruits of their collaboration an ever-exciting blend of the traditional and the modern helped push American musical theater in a more daring direction, both musically and dramatically. At the same time, their influence and impact on individual performers, while less well known, was also substantial. As their longtime friend and protégée Liza Minnelli writes in her introduction, "John and Fred made everything possible."

Told through a dialogue between the two men and enlivened with excerpts from Fred Ebb's lyrics and sixteen pages of photographs, Colored Lights is a unique and wonderful work. Starting with Flora, the Red Menace, their first show together, and continuing with such groundbreaking works as Cabaret, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, John Kander and Fred Ebb ably assisted by Greg Lawrence discuss their lives and careers with the same wit and acuity that distinguish their work for the stage, concluding with a lively discussion of the recent Academy Award-winning film adaptation of Chicago and of their final musical, The Visit.

Whether they are exploring what goes into creating a truly original work such as Cabaret, reflecting on what makes a song succeed (and what makes a singer a great singer rather than merely a good one), or discussing how their own collaborative process works, John Kander and Fred Ebb provide a rich, one-of-a-kind history not only of their own careers but also of the American musical theater of the late twentieth century.

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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. Mounted inside a glass frame
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REVIEWS

Praise for Colored Lights

"There is a song in Flora, the Red Menace called 'All I Need Is 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

"To work with Kander and Ebb is a lovefest beyond compare. To be a friend is even more so. They are words and music. I am theirs, whenever they want me." --Jimmy (Lauren Bacall)

"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, director of the film version of Chicago

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

  • John Kander was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and Fred Ebb was born in New York City. They have worked together creating musicals and songs since 1962. They, as well as coauthor Greg Lawrence, live in New York City.
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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; With an Introduction by Liza Minnelli and a Foreword by Harold Prince

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Faber & Faber

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