Librettist and lyricist Michael Colby has written musicals such as Charlotte Sweet and Tales of Tinseltown, both have just been released on CD. Other works include Slay It With Music (Off-Broadway and London) and Ludlow Ladd. Colby was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has been a writer for The NY Festival of Song, as well as the Theatre By the Blind. Also, he’s the author of the autobiographical book The Algonquin Kid: Adventures Growing Up at New York’s Legendary Hotel, and he was researcher for Dorothy Hart’s biography of her brother-in-law Lorenz. Kevin Clarke of the Operetta Research Center caught up with Mr. Colby to speak with him about his work – and how it is influenced by operetta. Read more for Michael's often surprising answers about classic musical comedy as compared to not-so-old-fashioned operetta, and about how to make the genre(s) appeal to all generations.
Michael Colby sings Growing Up at the Algonquin (music: Ned Paul Ginsburg) at the Algonquin Salon.
(Photo: Archive Michael Colby)