Dorothy was whirled away to Oz from her Kansas home by a tornado. John Kander, meanwhile, still active at 85, was swept away from Kansas by the winds of a passion to pursue a musical career in the Big Apple. He succeeded in spades with 21 stage musicals, most often with late lyricist Fred Ebb as they collaborated on such landmarks as Cabaret and Chicago and songs such as New York, New York.
The age of national culture is over. Forget about tired nation-states, their ineffective governments and surly citizens. Great art is to be found in cities with strong flavours. At the top of my list is Chicago, just over an hour from Toronto by air, where a vibrant theatre scene is offering the best play I’ve seen in years.