04 October 2008

Madeline Kahn

As I prepare to write the authorized biography of the late singing actress Madeline Kahn, I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knew or worked with her, or who possesses material relevant to a critical assessment of her art. My e-mail address appears after the jump.

Please contact me at billmadison(@)mac.com — first removing the parentheses, of course. I look forward to hearing from you.


Katriona said...

Mr. Madison, I just stumbled on your website (Your post on Ruth Draper caught my eye, as I was taught movement by her incredibly gifted nephew , the famous dancer Paul Draper, who certainly had the performance genes. He was one of the most talented dancers I ever saw;(and at the age of seventy-six, he participated in an exhausting warm-up that left young students shattered; he was as fresh as a daisy.)But that's another story.
You may already know this, but Ms.Kahn did a wonderful short run of the epistolary two-hander "Love Letters", with Victor Garber. You might want to contact him, and ask him his impressions. It was in the late 80's or early 90's. They were simply wonderful together and had great chemistry. She was by turns , adorable, insufferable, and heartbreaking, and left a huge impression on me as a stage performer, as I had only seen her in films as a comedienne. I look forward to reading your biography! Best regards, Catherine Barroll

Katriona said...

I should clarify: the play "Love Letters" was presented in Toronto, Ontario,Canada for a very brief run--it may have been reviewed in the Toronto Star,or the Toronto Globe and Mail.

C. Barroll

William V. Madison said...

Thank you, Ms. Barroll! Yes, I do know of Madeline's work in Love Letters, and Madeline saved at least one review from the Toronto papers. Madeline and Victor Garber were good friends, as well as esteemed colleagues, and he and I have been in touch.

I was able to see Madeline onstage only once (in Born Yesterday), but thanks to videotape I've been able to enjoy a few other performances, and she really did have extraordinary presence. The more I see and hear of her -- in spoken theater, musical comedy, opera, television, and film -- the more I feel that we in the audience got only a hint of her phenomenal range.

And I know she'd have loved to hear more about Ruth Draper's nephew!