“On the Riviera” Gwen Verdon 1951

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Gwen Verdon in solo Stage dance performance On the Riviera, 1951

On the Riviera, 1951 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang

Please join Verdon Fosse Legacy Wednesday, January 20, 7pm at the All That Jack (Cole) MOMA film series for a screening of On the Riviera with introduction by Nicole Fosse.

On the Riviera, 1951 starring Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet, and Gwen Verdon. 89 min.

Though unbilled in the main credits, Cole protégée Gwen Verdon features prominently in this dance-rich Fox Technicolor movie, as she leads nominal star Danny Kaye on a world-dance tour that includes Cole’s signature version of Hindu jazz in “Rhythm of a New Romance.” Cole’s dark side surfaces in the creepy, pseudo-whimsical “Popo the Puppet.” As Busby Berkeley had done 20 years earlier, Cole completely commandeers the mise en scène from the mediocre director of record for an amazing finale, aptly titled “Happy Ending.”

Version 2Gwen Verdon & Danny Kaye in On the Riviera, 1951

All That Jack (Cole) MOMA Film series

January 20–February 4, 2016

The choreographer Jack Cole (American, 1911–1974) stands Continue reading

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Gwen Verdon! “Glamorous Redhead” 1959

Today celebrate with us the birthday of one of America’s brightest stage and screen stars, Gwenyth Evelyn Verdon born January 13, 1925.

Age 34 “Glamorous Redhead Gwen Verdon” Magazine Cover 

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“The Theatre, Magazine of Drama, Comedy, Music”

from “January, 1959″ sold for “25 cents”

“Broadway’s Complicated Redhead Gwen Verdon dances like a goddess lives like a recluse and is the sole support of the town’s most popular musical.” Continue reading

Gwen Verdon “New Girl In Town” broadside, 1957

“Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by Bob Fosse”
NewGirlInTownDetail image of original theater broadside or handout flyer for the 1957 Broadway production New Girl in Town presenting Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter with top billing.  New Girl in Town was a new musical produced by Harold Prince located at the “Shubert Theatre” with book by George Abbot having praised “Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by Bob Fosse.” Continue reading

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Gwen Verdon! “The Garden of Eden” 1954

Today celebrate with us the birthday of one of America’s brightest stars, Gwen Verdon born January 13, 1925.

Age 28 Gwen Verdon as Claudine in Can Can

Pictured in full costume in Gwen Verdon during her Tony award winning "Can Can" Broadway musical role as Eve in the "Garden of Eden" ballet, music and lyrics by Cole Porter with choreography by Michael Kidd.Pictured in full Eve costume is Gwen Verdon during her notorious Act One Tony Award winning Can Can Broadway performance as saucy laundress Claudine in “The Garden of Eden” ballet, music and lyrics by Cole Porter with choreography by Michael Kidd. Continue reading

“Everything old is new again!” – Dancers revive Fosse piece that hasn’t been seen in 56 years

Last week a group of Fosse students reconstructed “Streets of Laredo,” a five-part, eight-minute comedic ballet satirizing the rough, yet romantic American West: cowboys, saloon girls, hoedowns, bar fights, and, of course, a happy ending where the good guy comes out on top (quite the contrast to many of Fosse’s later more realistic works such as Sweet Charity and “All That Jazz”). Continue reading

Age 27 Bob Fosse’s “Humdinger” The Pajama Game, 1954

“A SMASH-HIT MIXTURE OF RACEHORSE AND EXPLOSIVE!” – Time Magazine

“A SMASH HIT – A POWERHOUSE – IRRESISTIBLE” – Variety

“A WHALE OF A SHOW!”   “A SURE – FIRE WINNER!”   “THE BEST AT LAST!”

“BRIGHT, BRASSY AND JUBILANTLY SASSY SHOW!”

The Pajama Game original Broadway production opened on May 13, 1954, and closed on November 24, 1956, after Continue reading

“Gwen Verdon: too hot for Hollywood?” Tempo News, 1955

“She’s everything the undesirable made absolutely and forever desirable.”

An overview photograph of “Gwen Verdon: too hot for Hollywood?” news article appearing in “Tempo News.” Tempo or “Quick News” was a weekly supermarket check-out magazine aimed towards the suburban American housewife market of the 1950s. Measuring 4 x 5 3/4 inches.

This particular Tempo News issue was published “July 18, 1955.”

Brian's property Article captions reading in-part:
“Hollywood’s censorship of Gwen Verdon dance in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes repeated familiar pattern of her film cuts.”
“Broadway’s cheers for Can-Can dancer the current star of sellout, Damn Yankees.”

Continue reading

Gwen Verdon personal performace scrapbook, 1950s

Pictured above housed within an archival paper storage box clearly side labeled “Fosse Verdon Archives” is dancer Gwen Verdon’s personal scrapbook, about 40 detached pages dating from the 1940s to early 1960s with the majority of clippings and content dating from the 1950s. Most pages are double sided and overall contain hundreds of photographs and newspaper clippings spanning three of her five decade or half-a-century career in the American performing arts.

Three interior affixed scrapbook newspaper clippings read: “Small World By Douglas Watt, Show People,  Continue reading

Age 25 Gwen Verdon Broadway debut Alive and Kicking with Jack Cole, 1950

Alive and Kicking a “New Musical Revue” production opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on January 17, 1950 and closed on February 25, 1950, after 46 performances.

Gwen Verdon pictured in performance with famed choreographer Jack Cole. The above image is from an archival paper indexed reference file stamped “Fosse Verdon Archives” and according to the handwritten notes by Gwen Verdon verso, this particular image was published in Dance Magazine’s April 1983 issue and was originally captured during the “Dove’s Blues” an “East Indian” themed dance number from her 1950 Broadway debut show Alive and Kicking.

Below detail image of promotional handbill flyer top center picture and corresponding caption reading “Jack Cole and Dancer.” Continue reading