John Kenrick

Making Show Business History Entertaining

"Ebullient and optimistically cockeyed!"
- Oscar Hammerstein III, author of The Hammersteins

John Kenrick, Creator of Musicals101.comJohn Kenrick combines a passion for entertainment history with the practical know-how earned while working on stage productions at every level from amateur to Broadway.

"I think show business history is the most fascinating subject in the world. My goal is simple: to make it as entertaining and exciting for others as it is for me."

John gives talks on theatre and film history, has appeared in numerous documentaries, and is the author of, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amateur Theatricals, and the textbook Musical Theatre: A History. His college courses have included the History of Musical Theatre, Great Broadway Songwriters, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. He has also offered courses on Hollywood Legends, The History of Screen Musicals, and The Golden Age of MGM, among others. John has also lectured at Wagner College, Marymount Manhattan, Pace University and The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

These comments from actual course evaluation forms give you an idea of how John's students feel about him:

Professional Background

jkchanning.jpg (18922 bytes)John Kenrick with musical theatre legend Carol Channing.

John served as personal assistant to six Tony-winning producers, working on such productions as the Pulitzer Prize-winning hit Rent and the first revival of Grease. He also assisted in the management of numerous national tours, including Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis, Crazy for You, Victor/Victoria, Jekyll & Hyde and Busker Alley.

John was lyricist for the short-lived but acclaimed Off-Broadway production Bats, wrote and produced cabaret shows that appeared at The Duplex and The Five Oaks, and provided special material for performers at Caroline's, Eighty-Eights, Don't Tell Mama and other top New York clubs. He was Associate Producer for the Celebration '86 Gay Arts Festival, and worked in various capacities for The Glines, The Vineyard Theatre, PACE Theatrical, NAMCO, The Booking Office and The New York Theatre Workshop.

Making Show Biz History Entertaining

John Kenrick recreates the
 legendary Ziegfild walkJohn Kenrick recreated the legendary "Ziegfeld walk" for filmmaker Lindalee Tracey in the Canadian documentary Anatomy of Burlesque.

John has been interviewed by A&E's Biography, BBC TV and Radio, British TV4, The Travel Channel, The SyFy Channel, The London Observer, National Public Radio, Newsday, The Dallas Daily News and the Chicago Sun Times, among others. He appeared in the PBS documentary Hollywood Singing & Dancing, and can be seen on the DVD editions of The Busby Berkeley Collection (42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933 & 1935, Footlight Parade, Dames) and the classic MGM musicals Three Little Words, Till the Clouds Roll By and It's Always Fair Weather. He has also appeared in documentaries discussing classic showtunes, Jerry Herman, Buddy Ebsen, Times Square, haunted theatres, and the history of burlesque.

John's speaking schedule has run the gamut from luxury liners to the NYC Fringe Festival. He offered a three year series of "Musical Conversations" at Manhattan's York Theatre, and has been presenting "Theater Chats" at The Sutton Place Synagogue since 2006. He has spoken at The Classic Stage Company, New York's Jewish Museum, The 92nd Street Y, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Museum of the City of New York, the Queensborough NY Library system, and public libraries in Poughkeepsie, Seaford, Mineola, Oceanside, Oyster Bay, Merrick, Jericho and Lawrence NY.

Aside from John's aforementioned books, his article "Theatre in New York: A Brief History" appears in the textbook Theatre Law: Cases and Materials (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2004). When John saw that the internet needed a reliable educational resource celebrating the history of stage and screen musicals, was born. Since its inception in 1996, this website has grown to over eight hundred pages of text. It currently attracts more than fifteen thousand visitors each month. Here is what some educators and web experts have said about

John welcomes questions, and responds personally to hundreds of email inquiries every year, assisting journalists, theatre professionals, and students alike. To book John for a talk that your group will be sure to enjoy, drop him a line at

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