Singer/actress Shannon Durig, who grew up in the KC suburb of Overland Park, Kan., appeared in the Broadway musical Hairspray for the thousandth time on March 13, 2008.
Durig was Tracy Turnblatt, the show’s lead, for more than three years. She first joined the show in 2003 as that role’s understudy, then took it over in July 2005.
The 1,000-performance milestone happened near the end of her run, as she left the show in mid-April 2008. Since leaving the show, she has acted and done voice work on several Disney Channel shows.
Although it’s mostly forgotten today, the debut of Flora the Red Menace on May 11, 1965, marked the debut of one of Broadway’s most enduring composing teams.
This show was the first musical between composer Kansas Citian John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, who subsequently wrote such shows as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
John Kander (at piano) and lyricist Fred Ebb.
Cabaret, the Tony Award-winning musical, debuted on Broadway on Nov. 20, 1966. John Kander, Cabaret’s composer, was born and grew up in Kansas City, Mo.
Kander seems to have been overlooked in Kansas City’s music history, which is a shame. He’s a top Broadway composer and has had a significant career in film and television. And, irony of ironies, he wrote the city of New York’s de facto theme song.