Tonight (Friday, Feb. 15), Live from Lincoln Center on PBS is doing, "Ring Them Bells!: A Kander and Ebb Celebration."
I always like to give a little help to fellow-Camp Nebagamon alumni whenever I can, and I think that Kander guy shows a lot of promise and could use the boost. I predict big things for him.
(John Kander seated at the piano. Fred Ebb not.)
By the way, little-known theatrical history fact. In the 1962, a new musical opened on Broadway, A Family Affair, by three struggling newcomers. The book was by brothers William and James Goldman, the music was by John Kander (his only show without Fred Ebb), and the lyrics were by Kander and William Goldman. The show didn't last long, but the three seemed to survive.
(For thems that don't know -- William Goldman wrote the movies, All the President's Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and more. James Goldman wrote the play A Lion in Winter (and movie) and the musical Follies. And John Kander wrote the musicals Cabaret and Chicago and the song "New York, New York" and...)
I mention all this because most people, if they've even heard of A Family Affair probably find it interesting for being at the start of three major talents' careers, and likely figure they met in New York, like so many struggling new artists. Actually, they all met at Camp Negagamon, roomed together in New York and stayed lifelong friends.
The camp motto is "Keep the Fires Burning." Clearly, they did.
For what it's worth, I love (and am surprised) that they called the TV special, Ring Them Bells! It's a little-known, but wonderful specialty number they wrote. Not from any show, just something that's great fun. Kander and Ebb appeared on a terrific show from I think the early '70s called The Songwriters (discs are available on Netflix). Each episode was dedicated to a separate Broadway composer or team. They do "Ring Them Bells" on the show, and Fred Ebb performs the bejeepers out of it.
The TV special airs at 9 PM in Los Angeles. Adjust your times accordingly.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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