John Kander and the late Fred Ebb earned their 10th Tony bid for Best Score with “The Scottsboro Boys.” The tuner, which told a hard-hitting story of racial injustice, had a surprisingly strong showing earning 12 Tonys nominations including Best Musical. Despite rave reviews, the show shuttered last fall after just two months.
It has been seven years since Ebb died and Kander says this show, their last together, made for a fitting tribute to the talented tunesmith. The pair picked up three Tonys for their scores: “Cabaret? (1967); “Woman of the Year” (1981) and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1993). The first and last of these also won Best Musical.
While their hearts belonged to Broadway, the pair also composed several songs for films and twice contended for the Oscars. They lost both bids (“How Lucky Can You Get” from “Funny Lady,” 1975; “I Move On” from “Chicago,” 2002). But Kander says they got their revenge on the kudos when Ebb penned the lyrics to a number “Not Even Nominated” that highlighted the great songs that had gone without any recognition from the academy.