"Kander and Ebb" by James Leve

Kander and Ebb James Leve

Yale Broadway Masters Series
Publication date:
26 May 2015
Yale University Press
384 pages: 235 x 156 x 29mm
7 b&w illus. & 45 musical exx.
Sales territories:

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb collaborated for more than forty years, longer than any such partnership in Broadway history. Together they wrote over twenty musicals. Their two most successful works, Cabaret and Chicago, had critically acclaimed Broadway revivals and were made into Oscar-winning films.


This book, the first study of Kander and Ebb, examines their artistic accomplishments as individuals and as a team. Drawing on personal papers and on numerous interviews, James Leve analyzes the unique nature of this collaboration. Leve discusses their contribution to the concept musical; he examines some of their most popular works including Cabaret, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman; and he reassesses their “flops” as well as their incomplete and abandoned projects.  Filled with fascinating information, the book is a resource for students of musical theater and lovers of Kander and Ebb’s songs and shows.

James Leve is associate professor of musicology and coordinator of music history, Northern Arizona University. He has a forthcoming textbook on musical theater. He lives in Flagstaff, AZ.

“The first important study of Kander and Ebb. A very useful book, thoughtfully presenting material not otherwise readily available.”—Raymond Knapp, UCLA

“James Leve beautifully distills and clarifies the fundamental reasons for Kander and Ebb’s popularity and long term significance. This is a wise and musically informed interpretation of the team’s remarkable creative process, rich in fascinating detail.”—Thomas L. Riis, author of Frank Loesser