Jeff is a recipient of the BMI Harrington Award and the Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Memorial Musical Theatre Fellowship. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and a longtime member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. In 2005, he published a songbook of his music and produced The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast, which featured live performances of those songs. The podcast episodes can still be heard by visiting iTunes or www.jeffblumenkrantz.com. Jeff also produced and hosted The BMI Workshop Songbook Podcast, featuring never-before-available music by members and alumni of the acclaimed musical theatre writers’ workshop. It, too, can be found on iTunes or at www.bmiworkshopsongbook.com.
As a writer, lyricist, composer and director, Fred Ebb made incalculable contributions to the New York theatrical community. Mr. Ebb is a Tony®, Grammy®, Emmy®, Olivier® and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award winning recipient. Fred Ebb's first professional songwriting assignment came in 1953 when he and Phil Springer were hired by Columbia Records to write a song for Judy Garland called "Heartbroken." Mr. Ebb was introduced to composer John Kander in 1964 by music publisher Tommy Valando and became one of the most legendary songwriting teams in American history. The first successful collaboration was on the song "My Coloring Book," recorded by Barbra Streisand. Their second theatrical collaboration, Flora, the Red Menace, created a star out of Liza Minnelli in her Tony® Award-winning Broadway debut. In 1966, their collaboration Cabaret, opened and received seven Tony® Awards including Best Musical and Best Score. A 1972 movie version of Cabaret starring Liza Minnelli was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won eight awards and was nominated for nine Golden Globe Awards and won three including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. The same year, the songwriting team wrote a number of songs for Minnelli's television special "Liza With a Z," which received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Popular Music. In 1975, the two wrote the Broadway musical Chicago, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The musical was successfully revived 20 years later at City Center ENCORES! and subsequently transferred to Broadway where it is currently the longest running revival in Broadway history. In 1977, the team collaborated with Martin Scorsese on the movie New York, New York; the title song was introduced by Minnelli and later recorded by Frank Sinatra becoming the unofficial theme song of New York City. The Minnelli Broadway vehicle The Act also opened that year. After a four-year absence, Mr. Ebb and Mr. Kander returned with Woman of the Year (1981), The Rink (1984), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (1985) and Steel Pier (1997). They were honored by the Kennedy Center with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Miramax's 2002 feature film Chicago was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture and was nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards and won three, including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.
At the time of Mr. Ebb’s passing, he and Mr. Kander were at work on several new musicals. Curtains, starring David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk, debuted at CTG/Ahmanson Theatre in 2006 and came to Broadway in 2007, receiving a Tony Nomination for Best Musical as well as a Best Score nomination for Kander & Ebb. In 2007, All About Us was staged at The Westport Country Playhouse. The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and George Hearn, received a staging at DC’s Signature Theatre in 2008 as well as a concert staging in NYC in the fall of 2011. Last season, The Scottsboro Boys opened on Broadway and received 12 Tony Nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.