JOHN KANDER AND FRED EBB
The John Kander and Fred Ebb collaboration of four decades has created what many would consider Broadway standards and contemporary classics: Flora the Red Menace, Cabaret (Tony Award), The Happy Time, Zorba, 70 Girls 70, Chicago, The Act, Woman of the Year (Tony Award, Best Score), The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award, Best Score) and Steel Pier. Their collaboration also transferred itself to movies and television as they wrote original material for the Academy Awards, "Liza with a Z" (Emmy Award), HBO's "Liza Minelli's Stepping Out" (Emmy Award), Funny Lady (Oscar Nominated for "How Lucky Can You Get"), Lucky Lady, New York, New York, Stepping Out and Chicago (Oscar nominated for Best Song). In the mid 80's the song "New York New York" becoming the official anthem of New York City. At the time of the unfortunate death of Mr. Ebb, Kander and Ebb had several projects in different stages of completion waiting in the wings: The Visit, All About Us, Curtains and Minstrel Show. Life goes on.
Chicago is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins.
(Co-Author, Original Director, and Choreographer)
A director, choreographer, dancer, and actor for films and stage, Fosse was especially famous for his innovative and spectacular staging, with the emphasis on exhilarating dance sequences. Bob Fosse began his career in Chicago where he studied ballet, tap, and acrobatic dance from an early age. While still a teenager, he performed with a partner as the Riff Brothers in vaudeville and burlesque theatres. After graduating from high school in 1945, he spent two years in the U.S. Navy before moving to New York and studying acting at the American Theatre Wing. He then toured in the chorus of various productions before making his Broadway debut in the musical revue Dance Me a Song. As a dancer, he performed in two long-running musicals,Call Me Mister and Make Mine Manhattan, followed by such Hollywood films as Give a Girl a Break and Kiss Me Kate. As a choreographer, his first show-stopping number was "Steam Heat" from The Pajama Game. This he followed with such hits as Damn Yankees with Gwen Verdon, Bells Are Ringing with Judy Holiday, New Girl in Town again with Gwen Verdon, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Robert Morse. He began his career as a director and choreographer with Redhead with Gwen Verdon, Little Me with Sid Caesar, and two more Gwen Verdon musicals, Sweet Charity and CHICAGO. He also staged the innovative musical smash Pippin, the highly successful dance revue Dancin', and the 1986 musical Big Deal. For the screen, Fosse directed the films Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine, All That Jazz with Roy Scheider, Lenny with Dustin Hoffman, Star 80 with Eric Roberts, and, most spectacularly, Cabaret with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. In 1973, Bob Fosse had the distinction of winning the three highest awards in three different media. He won a Tony Award for the musical Pippin, an Oscar for the film Cabaret, and an Emmy Award for the television special "Liza With a Z". In 1960, he married his third wife, Gwen Verdon. From that union came his only child, a daughter Nicole. During the Washington D.C. run of one of his most successful shows, Sweet Charity, he died of a heart attack. This occurred shortly before the curtain went up on the night of September 23, 1987.
Walter Bobbie won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his production of the international hit Chicago, now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. Other New York credits include Venus in Fur, The Landing, Golden Age, The School for Lies, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, The Submission, The Savannah Disputation, New Jerusalem, High Fidelity, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Sweet Charity, Twentieth Century, and Footloose, as well as Encores! productions of Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Golden Boy, No, No, Nanette, and Zorba! in addition to the Carnegie Hall concerts of South Pacific and Carousel. Mr. Bobbie served as Artistic Director of City Center Encores! and on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Ann Reinking has received the 1997 Tony Award, Best Choreography for CHICAGO, as well as the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Astaire, and NY Drama Critics Awards. Other credits include Director, co-choreographer for Fosse (1998 Tony Award for Best Musical); Tony nominations for her leading performances in Dancin' and Goodtime Charlie; recipient of the Theatre World, Clarence Derwent and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her work as Maggie in Over Here! Film credits: All That Jazz; Annie; Micki and Maude and Movie, Movie. Recent choreography credits include Suite Kander for Missouri State Ballet, Ritmo & Ruido for Ballet Hispanico, Lengends for Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, The Threepenny Opera for Williamstown Theatre Festival, Nilsson/schmillson for Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theatre, "Bye Bye Birdie" for ABC-TV, national tour revival of Applause. She is the recipient of the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre 1999, Musical Hall of Fame Award 1999, Dance Library of Israel Award 1998, Distinguished Artist Award 1998, School of American Ballet Artistic Achievement Award 1997, National Art Club Award for Service to the Arts 1995, and the Governor's Award-Ambassador of the Arts for the state of Florida 1994.
JOHN LEE BEATTY
Broadway: A Delicate Balance, The Heiress, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Most Happy Fella, Burn This, Penn And Teller, Ain't Misbehavin', Tally's Folly, Fifth Of July, Crimes Of The Heart, Baby, and Anna Christie, among many others. Off-Broadway: Sylvia, The Cryptogram, The Destiny Of Me, The Substance Of Fire, The Road To Mecca, Song Of Singapore, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, A Life In The Theatre, 20 seasons at MTC and Circle Rep. Major regional theatres, film opera and TV. Recipient of Tony, Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Awards. Graduate: Brown and Yale.
WILLIAM IVEY LONG
For Kander and Ebb - Steel Pier, Cabaret (1998 and 2014 revivals), Curtains, and Chicago now in its 20th year on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include On The Twentieth Century; Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Grey Gardens; The Producers; The Boy from Oz; Hairspray; Contact; Cabaret; The Music Man; Annie Get Your Gun; Swing; Smokey Joe’s Café; Crazy for You; Guys and Dolls; A Christmas Carol; Lend Me a Tenor; Nine. Mr. Long has designed 70 Broadway shows, has been nominated for 15 Tony Awards, and has won 6 times. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2005 and was elected Chairman of The American Theatre Wing in June 2012. www.williamiveylong.com.
Ken Billington (Lighting Designer) is currently represented on Broadway and the West End with CHICAGO and The Drowsy Chaperone as well as the current US touring productions of CHICAGO, Annie, Disney's High School Musical and Riverdance for which he the lighting supervisor. Ken has designed over 80 Broadway and 70 Off-Broadway shows including CHICAGO, Fame, Lily Tomlin in The Search for Signs, Footloose, Candide, Annie, Foxfire, Tru, Sweeney Todd, Side by Side by Sondheim, On the Twentieth Century, Annie Warbucks, and Snoopy. On the West End he has designed Sweeney Todd at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, What the Butler Saw at Wyndham's and Annie at the Victoria Palace and the UK tour of White Christmas. Millions of audience members have seen Ken's work at New York's Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular for 26 seasons, Disneyland's nighttime extravaganza Fantasmic!, and Shamu Rocks at Seaworld of Florida and San Diego. He is the recipient of the Tony, Drama Desk, Los Angeles Drama Critics, and Ace Award's and the Luman for his architectural lighting.
Broadway: Angels In America, My Favorite Year, Once On This Island, The Most Happy Fella, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Heidi Chronicles, Prelude To A Kiss, I Hate Hamlet. Recent work: A Fair Country at Lincoln Center and ENCORES!, Fiorello!, Lady in the Dark and all 1995 and '96 Encores! productions at City Center. Off-B'way: Hapgood, Putting It Together, The Last Yankee, Three Hotels, Assassins, Isn't it Romantic?, The Substance Of Fire, Geniuses and Terra Nova.
CHICAGO, Little Me, Funny Girl, Golden Boy, Pippin and Sweet Charity. Film credits include Academy Awards for Cabaret and All That Jazz. Won the Italian Oscar for Movie and the Emmy for "Baryshnikov on Broadway."
Projects include the libretto for Steel Pier (1997 Tony nomination), co-conceiving And The World Goes 'round (Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle awards), new librettos for the highly successful Off-Broadway and London revivals of Flora, The Red Menace and 70, Girls, 70. Co-created PBS Great Performances "Sondheim - A Celebration at Carnegie Hall" and wrote the recent documentary "Razzle Dazzle."
(Supervising Music Director)
Rob Fisher was the original conductor and music director for CHICAGO and its Grammy-Award winning cast album and now supervises all CHICAGO companies worldwide. He has been the music director and conductor of City Center's Tony Award-winning Encores! series since its inception in 1994. Other credits: four seasons of Garrison Kellor's radio broadcasts, numerous concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, two evenings in the East Room of the White House, several programs for "PBS Great Performances," guest appearances conducting orchestras around the U.S. and over 20 recordings. Broadway and national tour credits include: Threepenny Opera starring Sting, Me And My Girl, A History Of American Film, A Day In Hollywood/a Night In Ukraine, Little John Jones and Big River.
Highlights: Exec. prod., TV (Peabody Award, "The Music in Me," HBO); conductor (biggest thrill: the Philadelphia Orchestra); music director (Here Lies Jenny, Bebe Neuwirth, Roger Rees, Ann Reinking); pianist (collaborators Alsop, Salerno-Sonnenberg, Upshaw, London Symphony); Grammy-nominated recordings (Angel, Nonesuch, Naxos); music supervisor, films (directors Scorsese, Wilson). Favorite: Carnegie Hall mass choir initiatives for hundreds of NYCHS students and leading worldwide musical theatre initiative: musicalexchange.carnegiehall.org.
(Dance Music Arranger)
Composing, conducting, arranging or pianist credits include My Fair Lady; The Sound Of Music; Carnival; Hello, Dolly!; 1776; Chicago; Annie; Barnum; Baby; My One And Only; Crazy For You; and Swingin' On A Star. Film: Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Zelig, 1776, Mame, Annie, and Stepping Out.
(Production Stage Manager)
More than 20 Broadway credits including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Democracy, The Rocky Horror Show, The Blue Room, Jekyll & Hyde, An Ideal Husband and A Few Good Men. Currently: Associate director for the national tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
STEPHEN R. GRUSE
Sixteenth Broadway show (see playbillvault.com for details). Thanks for the job. Everyone. "Life's like a movie. Write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending."
Over a dozen Broadway productions including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Lion King, Man of La Mancha, Oklahoma! and Miss Saigon.
(Assistant Stage Manager)
Eleventh Broadway show!…three national tours!…lots of Off-Broadway!…and a heck of a time with “This American Life” at BAM. Proud dog mom.
BARRY & FRAN WEISSLER
Barry & Fran Weissler are the recipients of seven Tony Awards: Othello starring James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer, Fiddler on the Roof with Topol, Gypsy with Tyne Daly, Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters and Reba McEntire, the 2010 revival of La Cage aux Folles with Kelsey Grammer, the 2013 revival of Pippin (currently on tour), and Chicago, the longest-running American musical on both Broadway and the West End. Other Broadway credits include Finding Neverland, Zorba, My One & Only, Falsettos, Grease, Seussical, Wonderful Town, Sweet Charity and The Scottsboro Boys. The Weisslers are the Executive Producers of Finding Neverland, currently playing on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Alecia Parker serves as executive producer of all worldwide productions of Chicago, Pippin and Finding Neverland the new Broadway Musical. Currently licensing Once the Musical internationally. Other credits, spanning more than 30 years, include executive producer of La Cage aux Folles, The Scottsboro Boys, Sweet Charity, Wonderful Town, Seussical; associate producer of Annie Get Your Gun, My Thing of Love, Grease!, My Fair Lady, Falsettos, Fiddler on the Roof, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cabaret, Zorba starring Anthony Quinn. She is the proud mother of Michael.
CITY CENTER'S ENCORES! GREAT AMERICAN MUSICALS IN CONCERT
City Center, a not-for-profit theatre founded in 1943 as Manhattan's first performing arts center is home to many of America's leading dance companies, education programs and popular engagements. The award-winning series Encores! was created in 1994 to revisit rarely-heard scores, of which CHICAGO is one.
Duncan Stewart, CSA/Benton Whitley, CSA. BROADWAY/NY: On The Town, Pippin, Chicago The Musical, La Cage Aux Folles, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, The Band Wagon, Carnegie Hall Sings, Pageant; WEST END/UK: Thriller Live, Menier Chocolate Factory; TOURS: Flashdance, Anything Goes, Bullets Over Broadway, Elf, We Will Rock You; UPCOMING: The Duck Commander Musical, Waterfall, August Rush, Nerds, Hadestown; REGIONAL: American Repertory Theater, The Alley Theatre, Bay Street Theater, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Royal Caribbean. Casting Associate: Andrea Zee CSA. Members of the Casting Society of America. stewartwhitley.com