Musicals by Kander and Ebb – A Full List of Their Major Works

John Kander and Fred Ebb were an extremely successful songwriting duo who together created one musical theatre hit after another. And for your convenience, here is our list of the classic and ground-breaking musicals by Kander and Ebb, sorted chronologically.

* Scroll down for a list of musicals written by John Kander with other lyricists and writers.


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Kander and Ebb Musicals

Flora, the Red Menace (1965)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: George Abbott, Robert Russell

Flora, the Red Menace was the first collaboration between John Kander and Fred Ebb. The original production featured Liza Minnelli, which was also her Broadway debut.

Musical Info ➝


Cabaret (1966)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Joe Masteroff

Based on John Van Druten’s play, I Am A Camera, Cabaret turned into a major Broadway hit during its first run. This musical focuses on the Kit Kat Klub in 1931 Berlin.

Musical Info ➝


The Happy Time (1967)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: N. Richard Nash

Although not as commercially popular as Cabaret, The Happy Time did quite well during its first run. This musical took home three Tony Awards and was nominated for seven.

Musical Info ➝


Zorba! (1968)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Joseph Stein

Zorba was adapted from Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel, Zorba the Greek. Sharing the story of friendships and relationships on the island of Crete, the original production ran for 305 performances and was later revived in 1983.

Musical Info ➝


70, Girls, 70 (1971)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics/Book: Fred Ebb  Book: Norman L. Martin

Based on Peter Coke’s 1958 play (Breath of Spring), 70, Girls, 70 tells the story of a group of fur-stealing senior citizens in New York. The original production ran for just 35 performances.

Musical Info ➝


Chicago (1975)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Fred Ebb, Bob Fosse

Set in Chicago during the 1920s, Chicago was and is one of Kander and Ebb’s most successful musicals. The original production ran for 936 performances, and it has been revived and produced elsewhere countless times since.

Musical Info ➝


The Act (1977)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: George Furth

The Act is unique in that it was written for the specific purpose of showcasing the talents of Liza Minnelli, who plays a fading film star in search for a comeback.

Musical Info ➝


Woman of the Year (1981)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Peter Stone

Woman of the Year tells the story of a married cartoonist and TV news personality who struggle with the balance between their careers and their marriage. This musical won four Tony Awards and was nominated for two.

Musical Info ➝


The Rink (1984)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

Although The Rink ran for 204 performances and featured both Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, the reviews were unfortunately not the most positive. The Rink tells the story of the owner of a run-down roller skating rink

Musical Info ➝


And the World Goes ‘Round (1991)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb

And the World Goes ‘Round is a musical revue highlighting the past musical works of Kander and Ebb. This revue went straight from Off-Broadway in 1991 to a U.S. tour in 1992.

Musical Info ➝


Kiss of the Spider Woman (1992)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

Based on Manuel Puig’s novel El Beso de la Mujer Araña, Kiss of the Spider Woman was a major success in its original Broadway run. It was the winner of seven Tony Awards (including “Best Musical”) and nominated for an additional four.

Musical Info ➝


Steel Pier (1997)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: David Thompson

Steel Pier ran for just 76 performances and faced mostly mixed reviews. However, Kristin Chenoweth actually made her Broadway debut in the original run!

Musical Info ➝


The Visit (2001)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

The Visit was one of the last collaborations between Kander and Ebb before Ebb’s death in 2004. The premiere was in Chicago in 2001, but it didn’t open on Broadway until 2015.

Musical Info ➝


Curtains (2006)

Music/Lyrics: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Lyrics/Book: Rupert Holmes

Based on Peter Stone’s book, Curtains is a mystery comedy that takes place in a theater. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards in 2007, winning one. Unfortunately, Fred Ebb’s death occurred during the creation of this musical, and he was not able to see the project through to the end.

Musical Info ➝


The Scottsboro Boys (2010)

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: David Thompson

Based on the true story of the Scottsboro Boys trials, this musical ran for just two months. The project was initially begun in 2002 and put on hold after Ebb’s death in 2004. It later premiered in 2010 and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2011.

Musical Info ➝


Musicals by John Kander

The following musicals were written by John Kander, along with other lyricists and writers.


A Family Affair

Music/Lyrics: John Kander  Lyrics/Book: James Goldman  Book: William Goldman

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

Musical Info ➝


Kid Victory

Music: John Kander  Lyrics/Book: Greg Pierce

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Musical Info ➝


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Which of these musicals by Kander and Ebb is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of these Kander and Ebb musicals? Feel free to share in the comments below! And if you like these types of lists, check out the musical database. That’s where you’ll find musicals sorted by composer, theme, setting, and more!


Stacy Karyn, author of Musicals by Kander and Ebb.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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