JOE BLITMAN'S
FASHION & CELEBRITY DOLLS
2021 HOLIDAY ADVENT CALENDAR
DAY 19




16 Dartmouth Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
323-953-6490

 
joeblitman@aol.com





WHO WE ARE                 HOW TO ORDER



  




KANDER & EBB




John Kander
1927-
Fred Ebb
1928-2004


John Kander and Fred Ebb had banged around New York and Broadway for a while before a music publisher put the two of them together in 1962 and suggested they might do well as a team. 



The chemistry clicked from the beginning.  And not just their personalities.  

What also meshed were what they each brought to the party: Kander’s melodies (he sometimes gives his hands credit for the creativity, not his brain) and Ebb’s hard candy lyrics. 

By their own account, they never had an argument.  And they both felt free to pose any thought or idea without the fear of scorn from the other. 

A word Cole Porter once made up for a lyric seems to apply - it was a perfect “blendship” -- and lasted 42 years.
 

Another perfect blendship, of course, is our seamlessly blending these 13 doll-related items into the middle of this conversation about Kander & Ebb:




PLATINUM
SWIRL PONYTAIL BARBIE

WITH BOX

(1964)
$495.00


LEGENDARY STATUS AGNES OUTFIT
(2020)
New/Mint
Right out of the box;
Right off the doll
$99.99


APPLE PRINT SHEATH
(1959)
Near Mint & Complete
$79.00

SOLD - SORRY


4-BUTTON PAK SHEATH
BLUE
(1961)
Near Mint
$35.00

SOLD - SORRY


BEACH DAZZLE SHANI
(1992)
$19.99
 

KEN MASQUERADE
(1963)
Near Mint & Complete
$69.00

SOLD - SORRY


FASHION EDITOR
WITH SPIKES
(1965)
Near Mint/Mint & Complete
$299.00


ASH BLOND BUBBLECUT BARBIE
(1963)
$139.00


75th ANNIVERSARY OF MATTEL
BARBIE
(2020)
NRFB
$49.99


2021 CONVENTION LOGO PIN
(PEOPLE-SIZED)
2021 BARBIE CONVENTION GIFT
(2021)
NRFP
$7.99


2021 CONVENTION MALIBU BARBIE PIN
(PEOPLE-SIZED)
2021 BARBIE CONVENTION GIFT
(2021)
NRFP
$4.99


2021 CONVENTION MALIBU KEN PIN
(PEOPLE-SIZED)
2021 BARBIE CONVENTION GIFT
(2021)
NRFP
$4.99


GIFT CERTIFICATES
IN ANY AMOUNT YOU WANT


Right off the bat, Kander & Ebb had a top 20 hit - “My Coloring Book” - performed by Sandy Stewart:





(although Streisand made the recording that people remember):
 




Then, 3 years later, their first musical, “Flora, the Red Menace," opened, starring a 19 year old Liza Minnelli:





Liza was memorable enough that she won a Tony for her role, but the show wasn't.  “Flora” only ran 87 performances.
 




Liza would go on to play important roles throughout Kander & Ebb’s career (and vice versa).

Oscar Hammerstein once said that you must show the audience what to expect from the show in the first 3 to 5 minutes of the show.  It is at your own peril if you don’t.

We don’t know if Kander & Ebb had that aphorism needle-pointed onto throw pillows in their apartments, but they certainly did just that with "Cabaret” in 1966.
 




The “Wilkommen” number, led by Joel Grey as the emcee, perfectly set up the show that followed. 


“Cabaret” was an enormous success (8 Tonys, 3 year run) and brought Kander & Ebb lasting international fame.

It’s been given numerous revivals; the one from the late 90’s ran almost 6 years.

They wanted Liza to play Sally Bowles in the original production, but Hal Prince, who was producing AND directing, wanted someone English who didn’t sing especially well. 

That left out Liza.   For the moment. 

She had her chance 6 years later in the movie version of “Cabaret,” directed by Bob Fosse.





The film put Liza on the covers of both Newsweek ,

 


AND Time the same week:




won 8 Oscars -- including one for Liza -- and gave her her first signature song:



Another standard emerged from the movie -- “Maybe This Time,” given the full treatment here by Kristin Chenoweth:



In the decade after “Cabaret” premiered on Broadway, Kander and Ebb juggled three “pins”:

Pin #1:   Broadway scores for shows that just missed being hits:

“The Happy Time”:



and “Zorba”:



and one that missed being a hit by a mile - “70 Girls 70”:




Pin #2:  Songs for 1975 movies, such as  “Lucky Lady” (a musical with Liza, Burt Reynolds and Gene Hackman)





and “Funny Lady” ( a sequel to “Funny Girl.”)



 


There was a big televised benefit premiere of “Funny Lady” at the Kennedy Center in DC, and Streisand performed live on stage.   The Kander and Ebb song she sang that night has evolved into a standard:



Pin #3 was creating special material for Liza’s nightclub act and concert tours, most famously the eponymous song “Liza with a Z,” which was featured in the Emmy Award-winning TV special of the same name:





When “Chicago” opened in 1975, it was overshadowed by the phenomenal success of “A Chorus Line” that same season.




“Chicago,” which starred Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera,
 




got mixed reviews, which may reflect that the show was ahead of its time in its cynical focus on the tabloid-ization of the news and those in the public eye. 

It wasn’t until 21 years later, after OJ and the white Bronco, and all of those kinds of scandal stories, that “Chicago” started to look like a documentary, which may explain why the revival of 1996 is still running, 25 years and 10,000 performances later.

Like “Cabaret,” “Chicago” has an opening number that tells you everything you can expect from the next two hours. 




Here, from the 2002 movie, which won a fistful of Oscars, including “Best Picture,” is Catherine Zeta-Jones singing “All That Jazz”:


Even more famous than the song “Cabaret” is the song “New York, New York” that Liza introduced in the 1977 movie of the same name.



The movie flopped, but the song caught on.  A few years later, Sinatra famously recorded it and it became his last signature song.

So, the question is “Who wore it better?”





or






Later in 1977, Kander & Ebb did the score for Liza’s Broadway musical “The Act.”




Although Liza won a Tony for her performance, her attendance record was abysmal (she missed 10% of the 200+ performances). 

In 1981, with “Woman of the Year,” starring Lauren Bacall



(and later, Raquel Welch),




Kander and Ebb had their 3rd hit (and second Tony). 


And in ’84, with “The Rink,” they provided lead roles to both Liza and Chita.



Chita won the Tony that year. 



But the show was a dud, running a little more than 6 months, with Liza departing early for rehab.

In 1992, Kander & Ebb wrote a second Tony-winning role for Chita in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” in which she plays the fantasy woman of a prisoner in a South American jail.  



In “Where You Are,” she gives advice on how to survive:



For that show, Kander & Ebb snagged their 3rd Tony.

Kander and Ebb did most of their writing together -- at Ebb’s kitchen table. 

They maintained that they didn’t have a discernible “style.”  They wrote songs to fit the shows. 

As Kander once said: “I wouldn’t know a Kander and Ebb song if it slapped me across the face.”



Fred Ebb died 17 years ago, but Kander shouldered on with others, writing shows up until 3 years ago.

We’ll leave you with one more Kander & Ebb song, written for a show that didn’t happen. 

It was re-purposed for Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly to perform together (at a time when they were both circling the age of 60) on Sinatra’s 1973 TV special “Old Blue Eyes is Back”:











SEARCH JOESLIST

BACK TO
ADVENT CALENDAR PAGE

BACK TO HOME PAGE

JOE BLITMAN'S
FASHION & CELEBRITY DOLLS

 
 

323-953-6490

aszqWAZQSJKL  
   
joeblitman@aol.com


S