Today we celebrate the half century anniversary of Tony Award winning American musical Sweet Charity.
In January 1966, The Nederlanders turned New York City’s famed Palace Theatre into a legitimate theatrical stage for the opening of Sweet Charity conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse starring Gwen Verdon.
Gwen Verdon played the title role of Charity Hope Valentine, a taxi dancer at a dance hall called the “Fan-Dango Ballroom” in Times Square, New York City.
Bob Fosse’s Tony award winning musical revue Dancin’ national tour original black and white news print press proof photograph. With verso publication date red ink blind stamped “DEC 24 1980” having corresponding newspaper clipping affixed reading:
By Robert Alan Ross, St. Petersburg Times Critic
The show has no plot, message or consistent characters. Even so, Dancin’ delivers what its title promises. As one players says in his first-act greeting, it’s “dancing, some singing, and a lot more dancing.”
Strong, attractive and well-rehearsed, the national touring company of Dancin’ opening a six day local visit Tuesday night at the Bayfront theater, pleasing a capacity audience with Bob Fosse’s carnival of musical motion.”
A COLLECTION of routines that earned a Tony for director/choreographer Fosse in 1978, Danicn’ steps through a dozen styles in its three acts. But there’s an obvious reason for the apostrophe in the title.”
Overview image of Bob Fosse’s bestowed nickel patina Tony Award medallion reading: “The American Theatre Wing presents to Bob Fosse, Choreographer For Distinguished Achievement in Theatre, DANCIN’, 1978” measuring 3 inches in diameter, trophy mounted.
Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circusofficially announces today that they are eliminating elephant acts from their shows and all elephants will be relocated to their Center for Elephant Conservation.
The circus plans to phase out elephant acts by 2018. Their 43 elephants will live at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida. Twenty-nine animals are already there, and the other 14 will arrive as they are phased out from the circus. Elephant acts have been showcased by Ringling Bros for more than a century.
Bob Fosse as interviewed by Kevin Kelly for the Boston Globe, 1978
“I guess I’ve learned bits and pieces from just about everything I’ve done. But, still I’m not kidding when I say I have periodic bouts of fear about what I’m doing. I deal with. I come out OK.
Right now, in the middle of Dancin’, the fear’s minimal. One of the reasons is that it’s not a big Broadway musical in the financial sense. It’s relatively simple, not a million dollar zinger. It’s a big modest Broadway musical, emphasis on modest. It’s a bit easier to work without all that heavy financial pressure. The show’s in three acts, with simple but effective scenery. The three acts are not just for innovation. The cast is made up of 18 very hardworking dancers and they need the intermissions to recoup. There’s no book, just a series of dance pieces some telling a story, some existing for themselves.”
Dancin’ 1978 souvenir performance program having front cover illustration art by Bob Gill
Pictured is Gwen Verdon backstage as Charity Hope Valentine during the original Broadway “musical smash” hit Sweet Charityconceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse at the Palace Theatre. Charity is showing a brassiere shoulder strap and wearing a light colored terry cloth robe with noted Broadway Stage Manager Paul Phillips in foreground. The provided 1967 news-wire corresponding press caption does not use the word tattoo, it is described as a “heart painted on her arm” by Phillips. The top center left shoulder hand painted single arrowed heart reads the name of her no good boyfriend “CHARLIE” appearing in Central Park New York City during Scene One, Act I.