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Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, and More Celebrate John Kander's 90th Birthday

Performances and speeches in honor of the composer were made after a performance of Chicago.

John Kander at Chicago's celebration of his 90th birthday.
(© Tricia Baron)

Musical theater icon John Kander turned 90 this month, and his long-running hit Chicago paid tribute to him after a performance yesterday, March 21. Surprise appearances included Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, James Naughton, and more.

Kander wrote Chicago along with his longtime collaborator, lyricist Fred Ebb. Over a period of four decades they produced a number of hits including Cabaret, Zorba, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Fosse, and The Scottsboro Boys. Kander's newest work, Kid Victory, recently played at Vineyard Theatre.


Chicago currently stars Charlotte d'Amboise as Roxie Hart, Lana Gordon as Velma Kelly, Tony Yazbeck as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron "Mama" Morton, and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.

Featuring classic tunes by John Kander and Fred Ebb, Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart, a nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media, and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her crime into a barrage of sensational headlines. Recipient of six 1997 Tony Awards, the revival is directed by Walter Bobbie.

For tickets to Chicago, click here.