Monday, April 7, 2014


Em admits she was jealous of Kahn, back in the days when John was rehearsing with Madeline for the musical, "On the Twentieth Century," in which they both starred.

John admits he loved Madeline's artistry and her personality. He describes how her artistic instincts inspired him.

John and Em discuss why Kahn left the show. Her operatic approach to singing and performing conflicted with what Hal Prince wanted.

Was she fired or did she quit?

Certainly Judy Kaye in the leading role delighted the critics, and Hal Prince.

Even so, both John and Em continue to admire Madeline and wish there were full-length recordings of her extraordinary performance in "On the Twentieth Century."


Gary Alan Henson said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with Ms Kahn. It was delightful to hear about those days and how wonderful she was.
And to hear that Mr. Cullum is the nice man he appears to be to us.

Paul Mendenhall said...

I lost a lot of respect for Hal Prince when I read his autobiography. The way he speaks about Kahn in it is inexcusable, and makes him look very foolish and petty. He even claims that he thought he was hiring Bernadette Peters! Come on. Even if he were that stupid, that he couldn't tell one from the other, no one else mentioned it? When everyone else who ever worked with Kahn adored her, it is pretty clear who the problem really was. I think his failure to value her and treat her with the care she needed is what really doomed that show to failure, despite it's being one of the greatest of musical comedies.

Linda Phillips said...

Thank you John and Em for talking about all of the private issues that took place in that show. I regret that I never saw it. I don't know why I didn't. I know that I had wanted to.
I absolutely adored Madeline Kahn. I loved her in anything she did. I was so shocked and saddened when she passed away at such a young age.
Em, you are more than forgiven for any jealousy you felt toward her. She was someone worth feeling jealous of.
I really loved this video.

Anonymous said...

I saw Judy Kaye in the touring company play her role opposite Rock Hudson. The show is a marvel due in large part to Cy Coleman's luscious score and Comden and Green's artful lyrics. He took a show that takes place in the Art Deco era and yet uses no music styles of that time. The score is an operetta with solos, duets, trios, quartets, quodlibets and choruses and it works so splendidly. Thank goodness for the OBC album that preserves such incredible peformances for all time. Your discussion of the show and Madeline Kahn will make my listening to it even more enjoyable.

Aquileana said...

★ Very cool Em!!!...★
I enjoyed the video and the musings .. I am glad that you agreed at the end and stated you continue to admire Madeline and her extraordinary performances.

Best wishes, Aquileana :)