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 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
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
“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
“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.”
“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.”
A vintage black and white press publication or news-wire photograph with corresponding text reading: Continue reading
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
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
Possibly production used hand embellished textile, being primarily constructed of a heavy black woven wool material having hand sewn golden metallic sequined letters reading “Hernando’s Hideaway” outlined with corresponding side-by-side bugle beads painted over with a red gloss paint, appears to be nail polish. Considerable amount of surface paint-loss to sequins and beads present, also having fabric corner tears consistent with age and or possible performance use.
“Hernando’s Hideaway” is a tango show tune, largely in Long Metre, from Act II of the musical The Pajama Game, written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, published in 1954. The lyrics describe a dark and secretive Continue reading
“National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Gwen Verdon, Best Original Cast Show Album – 1959, “REDHEAD”
See REDHEAD original cast recording ablum cover Continue reading