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Broadway Billing

Thanks for the great article by Samantha Gross about John Kander (Fall '03)—his music has always been wonderfully catchy. For certain, we never tire of it. Would you please enlighten me about Start Spreading the News—was it part of one of his Broadway shows? I am a Conservatory graduate of 1943. Chicago and the others were written long after my time, but I've been singing Frank Sinatra's version for years.
Mary Jane Santoro Jacobs '43
Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y.

Editor's note: John Kander and Fred Ebb were called in by director Martin Scorcese to create songs for his 1977 film, New York, New York. The movie's title song leads off with the words "Start Spreading the News." The song really took off after Frank Sinatra recorded his version—with slightly different lyrics—in 1980.

Thank you for your recent article on John Kander. His partnership with Fred Ebb is one of the most celebrated teamings in the history of American musical theater. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kander when he came to Oberlin in 1996. His visit coincided with the year OMTA (Oberlin Musical Theatre Association) was founded. OMTA was established for people who did not want to spend their four years doing just straight theater or opera. It was created to fill a large void on the Oberlin campus and curriculum. When Mr. Kander came to visit, OMTA's founders and board members had lunch with him and put on a musical revue for his benefit. He was gracious, gave honest feedback, and showed a genuine interest in our success. Since that pivotal visit, OMTA has taken off in popularity with students and has gained respect among faculty members. To my understanding, while musical theater is still not given the weight it deserves as a valid art form at Oberlin, it has crept into the curriculum. While I believe that it was the passion of the students who formed the organization that drove it to succeed, I also believe Mr. Kander's visit put us on the map and shone a much needed spotlight. Since I did not get to thank him then, I'm thanking him now.
Jenna Steinberg '96
Narberth, Pa.

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