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At Yale he wrote music and collaborated on lyrics for the scores of several amateur shows presented by his fraternity and the Yale Dramatic Association. Porter then entered Harvard Law School; almost at once, however, he changed his course of study to music. It was a complete disaster. In Porter was in France, and for some months during he served in the French Foreign Legion.

The Porters began a lifetime of traveling on a grand scale; they became famous for their lavish parties and the circle of celebrities in which they moved. Serious injuries in a riding accident in plagued Porter for the remainder of his life.


A series of operations led, in , to the amputation of his right leg. He died on October 15, , in Santa Monica, California. He was also an authentically talented creator of original melodies. Like George Gershwin, he frequently disregarded the accepted formulas of the conventional popular song usually a rigid measure framework and turned out pieces of charm and distinction. A director, producer, actor, and author, Joshua Logan had more Broadway hits than almost anyone else.

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Logan worked in theater and film throughout his career, showing talent from the time he was a young student at Princeton University. For many years Logan struggled with manic-depressive illness, and late in life he toured the country to offer encouragement to fellow sufferers. Also included is a reminiscence of the great master of the theater, Stanislavsky, under whom Logan studied in Russia after graduating from Princeton. Logan was also extremely candid in discussing the two nervous breakdowns that were linked to his career.

Logan plunges ahead, as if he were pacing one of his smash hits or urging an Ethel Merman to sing louder. Much of it is gossipy and inconsequential; much of it is funny and bawdy; much of it is impassioned and illuminating. The pages whizz by. A distinguished composer for the musical theater, Loewe was born into a musical family his father was a professional singer. He studied piano as a child, appearing with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in In , he visited the USA, but was unable to find work in a classical environment. Instead, he eked out a living playing piano in restaurants and bars, then roamed throughout the USA, tackling a variety of jobs, including boxing, prospecting, and cowpunching.

Later in the decade he contributed to various musical shows, and in began to collaborate with lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. His father, who had been an accompanist for the soprano Lilli Lehmann, gave his children a strong musical upbringing. But even as a child Frank was aggressively lowbrow: his first lyrics were set to the rhythms of the elevated trains, and he took pride in winning third prize in a citywide harmonica contest. Bored with formal education he flunked out of the City College of New York in , his first year , Loesser tried newspaper work, cartooning, advertising, press agentry, and radio writing.

These were difficult years. For a time he resorted to such jobs as screwing the tops onto insecticide bottles. They were married on Oct. In , Loesser signed a contract with Universal Films and left for Hollywood, a year later switching to Paramount. He remained in Hollywood until World War II, his reputation as a fine lyricist at least for novelty numbers rising very quickly. Stubby Kaye in Loesser's matchless musical "Guys and Dolls.

After the war, Loesser returned to writing for films and for Tin Pan Alley, now exclusively his own collaborator. After the war, Loesser returned to writing for films and for Tin Pan Alley.

Latin American Women Dramatists

Loesser never doubted that he could amuse, but he felt that touching an audience required more dexterity. His next endeavors moved him in that direction. On Apr. Loesser devoted much of his last years to publishing and production, introducing several new talents to Broadway. He died in New York City. Unquestionably Frank Loesser achieved what every artist most covets: the esteem of his colleagues.

American Council of Learned Societies, Reprinted by permission of the American Council of Learned Societies. During W. The show reteamed Laurents, Robbins, and Sondheim Jule Styne wrote the bouncy score and gave Ethel Merman what was arguably her greatest stage triumph. The cast included Lillian Roth, Elliot Gould, and a newcomer, Barbra Streisand, who played the secretary Yetta Marmelstein and nightly stopped the show with her one number.

It also marked the musical theater debut of Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury. This development may be a reflection of the influence of Laurents, book writer Harvey Fierstein and others involved in the production who are openly gay. Laurents won a Tony Award for his direction of the musical. Also a critical and commercial success, the film told the tale of two fortyish women, one an aging ballet star Anne Bancroft , the other Shirley MacLaine who gave up dancing to raise a family and have a life of regrets. Laurents has merely dabbled in TV.

His songs spill over with feeling and ideas; his work is both juicy and haunting. Larson lived his childhood amidst drama clubs and music lessons. Although he graduated with dreams of becoming an actor, Stephen Sondheim encouraged him to focus on composing. Larson was a Sondheim disciple and his early work suggested his future success. He stopped working in a SoHo diner only two months before the play opened and dreamed of earning enough money to afford cable TV. Ten days before he died, Larson sold some of his books to get money for a movie ticket.

It is totally my brother. A leading playwright and stage director, James Lapine briefly shifted his attentions to film in the early s, but after two well-crafted features that earned modest box office takes, he returned to the theater. The Ohio native trained at CalArts as a photographer and graphic designer and spent several years plying those trades on the West Coast.

Eventually, Lapine headed East when he accepted a position teaching design at the Yale School of Drama. This time the creators opted to introduce the more serious specter of AIDS.

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In between these productions, Lapine also struck up an artistically profitable association with composer Stephen Sondheim. Cited by the Pulitzer committee for the award in drama in , the show proved only a modest success, although it was preserved in a TV production that aired originally on Showtime and later PBS.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. In addition to his work in the musical theater, Lapine became a noted stager of dramatic works, including Shakespeare. The production was telecast on PBS. When the show moved to Broadway in May , the reviews were nearly all raves. Like many stage directors, Lapine ventured into the realm of filmmaking.

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The film inverted some of the conventions of period pieces and proved a pleasurable debut. Fox, who portrayed a struggling talent agent whose attempt to turn a pickpocket into a child star reinvigorates his love for his work. When Jerome Kern died in , America lost one of its greatest and most beloved composers.

Harry Truman, who was the U. Postage stamp in his honor, as well as the release of more recordings and performances of his music. He studied piano with his mother and in high school was often asked to play piano and organ and compose music for school theatrical productions. In , at the age of 17, he tried his hand at a business career working for his father, who owned a merchandizing house. Kern enrolled in the New York College of Music in and in went abroad to study music in Germany. He took up permanent residence in London, where he began writing songs for British musical hall productions.

A year later, he returned to New York, taking jobs with music publishers — first the Lyceum Publishing Company and then Shapiro-Remick. At this time, British productions dominated Broadway. A year later, Kern took a job at another music publisher, T. The s were a productive and noteworthy period for Kern.

The musical revue format, with unrelated numbers strung together, was replaced by a more coherent story, more sophisticated songs, and characters that were more believable and realistic. Today some believe it reflects racist attitudes; protesters tried to ban a revival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but the production went on to great success and re-opened on Broadway in In the s Kern moved to Hollywood and devoted the rest of his career to writing music for films.

But in hundreds of manuscripts by Kern and other Broadway composers were found in a warehouse in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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There are major works here that had been presumed lost forever; shows that were never revived and were assumed to have vanished off the face of the earth. Fred Ebb and John Kander entertaining friends. Abbott Awards.


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Apart from their work together, both Kander and Ebb have enjoyed successful independent careers. One of the leading composers and lyricists for the American musical theater during the past 30 years, Herman was playing piano by the age of six under the tuition of his mother, a professional piano teacher.

After high school, he started to train as a designer, but had second thoughts, and studied drama at the University of Miami. James Theater in New York for nearly seven years. The show — with its Grammy-winning title number — gave Carol Channing her greatest role, and has been constantly revived ever since. The latter show opened in , and ran for 1, performances in New York.

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The latter organization honored him with their Johnny Mercer Award in , and in , he received a lifetime achievement award from the Hollywood Press Club. Jerry Herman and Carol Channing.