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Brian Cheney and Cathy Venable Continue 'Composer Series' On Stageit With A Program Devoted To John Kander

'Composer Series' with John Kander will air Thursday 4/8 at 7pm on StageIt.

Brian Cheney and Cathy Venable Continue 'Composer Series' On Stageit With A Program Devoted To John Kander

Critically acclaimed artists Brian Cheney and Cathy Venable, performing together virtually from their homes for the last 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, have launched their next concert series entitled "Composer Series". Their first concert was a wonderful program featuring music from the great American Composer Leonard Bernstein. Next up, Thursday 4/8 at 7pm EDT, the duo will highlight another giant from Broadway, John Kander.

As part of the songwriting team Kander and Ebb (featuring lyricist Fred Ebb), Kander wrote the scores for 15 musicals, including Cabaret (1966) and Chicago (1975), both of which were later adapted into acclaimed films. He and Ebb also wrote the standard "New York, New York" (also known as "Theme from New York, New York").

Cathy Venable has had the privilege of working several times with Kander. When asked about her work with him, Venable said "Working with John Kander was a highlight of my career in New York City. I had the privilege of working with him as a pianist on his Broadway shows Curtains and The Visit, as well as his off-Broadway show The Landing and the demo recording of Kid Victory. Mr. Kander is brilliant, joyful, and kind to everyone. In rehearsals for The Landing and Kid Victory, he would come over to the piano, play something he had just written in his head, and say, "Now you do it." Somehow, knowing that he believed in me, I could recreate what he had just played without having it written down. When he was writing a musical, he liked to say that the music was "fungible", meaning that it could be replaced and rewritten if it was necessary. I was amazed that such a prolific and successful composer could be so humble and flexible about his own creations. At one point during rehearsals for The Landing at The Vineyard Theater, he asked David Hyde Pierce to come down from the stage and play a short piano four-hand duet with me as part of the show. The duet was cut from the final version of the show, but it was a thrill for me during rehearsals. John Kander sets the bar very high for kindness on Broadway. He is a true gentleman."

Venable is currently serving as Associate Conductor for the first National Tour of Frozen. She has held similar positions in National Tours such as The Phantom of the Opera and The Sound of Music. A classically trained pianist, Venable has served as Assistant Conductor and rehearsal pianist with companies such as Salt Marsh Opera and Light Opera Oklahoma as well as playing in numerous Broadway pits.

Hailed by KUSC Los Angeles as the "next great tenor", Cheney embodies the definition of versatility. During this once in a lifetime global pandemic, Brian Cheney has performed over 30 concert programs ranging from Opera, Operetta and Art Song to Broadway, Movie and Disney Musicals. We can hardly wait to see what is in store for this vibrant talent once live performing is back.

"Composer Series - John Kander" will be the place to be on April 8th!

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