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Composer John Kander

With his writing partner, Fred Ebb, Kander wrote the music for the original Broadway musical Chicago. The movie version of Chicago is nominated for 13 Academy Awards this year. Kander and Ebb are nominated for their song "I Move On." Kander and Ebb also wrote the music for the shows Cabaret, The Act, Woman of the Year, and Flora the Red Meance, and the Martin Scorsese movie musical New York, New York. Both Chicago and Cabaret have recently been revived on Broadway.


Pianist and singer Michael Feinstein

Pianist and singer Michael Feinstein. His repertoire is American popular song and he is a collector of vintage recordings and musical memorabilia. In the fall he plans to release a collection of radio duets by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, on his new record label Feinery. Feinstein released a new CD with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Feinstein and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (Concord).


Actress Cherry Jones

Cherry Jones is currently appearing in Lysistrata at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. Jones is a founding member of the American Repertory Theatre and has appeared in 23 A.R.T. productions. Shes won Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards. Jones has starred or appeared in many Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Her film appearances include The Perfect Storm, Cradle Will Rock and the upcoming Signs, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.


Composer Charles Strouse

His Broadway musicals include Bye, Bye Birdie, Annie, Applause, It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman, and Golden Boy, which originally opened on Broadway in 1964 and starred Sammy Davis Jr. The show will be revived later this month by City Center Encores in New York. Strouse also composed music for film and TV, including "Those Were the Days," the theme song for TV's All in the Family.


Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim

The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. is in the midst of a festival of Steven Sondheim musicals. Company, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George have already been featured. Still to be staged are A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along and Passion. We rebroadcast our interview with composer and lyricist Steven Sondheim. He discusses his work on West Side Story and Gypsy, for which he wrote the lyrics, and his own musical Sweeney Todd. Sondheim learned his craft from Oscar Hammerstein, who was a neighbor and surrogate father to him. This interview first aired Nov. 10, 1988.


Broadway music director Paul Gemingani

Broadway music director Paul Gemingani. He's been the musical director of almost every Stephen Sondheim work over the last 30 years. His other productions include Kiss Me, Kate, Crazy for You and High Society. Last year he received a lifetime achievement award at the Tony Awards. This interview first aired May 30, 2001.


John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell wrote, directed and starred in the off-broadway hit rock musical, –Hedwig and the Angry Inch— (with songs by Stephen Trask). The play has just been made into a new film, also directed by and starring Mitchell. The film won the Audience Award for Drama and the Directing Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. The story is about Hedwig, a German immigrant living in a trailer in Kansas, the victim of a botched sex change operation. With the help of her band, the Angry Inch, she tells the story of her life.


'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'

Chicago's 'Steppenwolf Theatres production of One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest is also on Broadway. . .We feature interviews with actor Gary sinise who stars in it, and director Terry Kinney. Steppenwolf is an actor-driven theatre known for its ensemble acting, and cutting-edge acting style.


Reissues of Great Cast Albums.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews original cast albums of Broadway musicals that have just been reissued. They include “Finian’s Rainbow,” “The Pajama Game,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “Kismit” (all on Sony) and “Guys and Dolls” (on Decca).


Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim Returns to Fresh Air.

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. He was mentored by Oscar Hammerstein, and went on to revolutionize musical theatre. His first major success was writing lyrics for “West Side Story.” Sondheim wrote the lyrics for “Gypsy.” He composed the music and wrote the lyrics for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeny Todd,” “Sunday in the park with George,” and “Into the Woods.” In 1954 he wrote the musical “Saturday Night” but it wasn’t performed for 40 years. There’s a new cast recording of it.

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim poses for a portrait in front of a sign advertising one of his musicals

Singer and Actress Audra McDonald.

Singer/Actress/Performer Audra McDonald. McDonald has won three Tony Awards, for her performances in ‘Carousel,’ ‘Master Class,’ and ‘Ragtime.’ She recently performed on Broadway as the star of ‘Marie Christine,’ and just appeared in The Vagina Monologues at the Westside Theater in New York. She continues to appear on concert stages nationally. Her new CD is called ‘How Glory Goes’ (Nonesuch Records), and her PBS Special, ‘Audra McDonald at the Donmar, London,’ is airing nationally in March. (This interview continues in the second half of the show.)


Elaine Stritch on Noel Coward.

Stage legend Elaine Stritch. In a career spanning more than 40 years, she has received acclaim for her work on stage, as well as on television and in motion pictures. She starred in the original 1961 Broadway production of Noel Coward's musical Sail Away. In honor of Coward's upcoming centenary, she'll reprise her role in a concert production at Carnegie Hall.


Dawn Upshaw and Tommy Krasker Discuss Broadway Music.

A Fresh Air favorite, opera soprano Dawn Upshaw. She has a new CD, "Dawn Upshaw sings Vernon Duke" (Nonesuch). It features Fred Hersch on piano and John Pizzarelli on guitar. We'll also hear from the producer of her new CD, Tommy Krasker. Upshaw has more than two dozen albums to her credit and has become widely known for her ability to perform both in the opera as well as sing Broadway tunes. Upshaw joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1984 and has performed at the Met.


Judy Garland Was as Great a Singer as She Was an Actress

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a re-issue of Judy Garland's songs titled "Judy" on the label 32 Records. It is a four cd-set with a video and 100 page book of photos and interviews. Also Rhino records has re-issued "Judy Garland in Hollywood."


Celebrating the 100th Birthday of George Gershwin

In celebration of the centennial of George Gershwin's birth, (Saturday, September 26th) a talk with two Gershwin experts: Robert Kimball, artistic advisor to the Gershwin estate, and author of "The Gershwins" (out of print) and editor of "The Complete Lyrics of Ira Gershwin" (De Capo Press, paperback). Also Edward Jablonski, author of "Gershwin: With a New Critical Discography" (De Capo Press, paperback). Also we'll hear some rare Gershwin songs.


The Kurt Weill Phenomenon Shows No Sign of Slowing.

Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews "Kurt Weill: from Berlin to Broadway, Vol. 2" (Pearl label) and other recordings of "Lady in the Dark" and "Berlin to Broadway" (on the Sony Masterworks Heritage label) as well as Lotte Lenya's "Berlin Theatre Songs" (also on Sony).


Rediscovering Paul Robeson.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great African-American singer, actor and political activist Paul Robeson. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews his recording of "Songs of Free Men" (Sony's Masterworks Heritage series).


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