Eileen Casey, Carolyn Kirsch, and Penny Worth honored at 2014 DO40 Legacy Awards

The Verdon Fosse Legacy, LLC would like to congratulate the honorees of the 2014 Dancers over 40 Legacy Awards—especially former Fosse dancers: Eileen Casey, Carolyn Kirsch, and Penny Worth. Dancer over 40 is a non-profit organization with a mission to celebrate and preserve the lives and legacies of dancers. In the annual Legacy Awards, DO40 President John Sefakis states, “We choose to honor our own, and in doing so, we honor each other and our profession.”

Congratulations to all five Legacy Award honorees and thank you, Dancers over 40, for recognizing their involvement and influence in the dance community.

(from left to right) Paul Berne, Carolyn Kirsch, Jerry Mitchell, Eileen Casey, and Penny Worth)

(from left to right) Paul Berne, Carolyn Kirsch, Jerry Mitchell, Eileen Casey, and Penny Worth)

Eileen Casey
DO40 Founding Member Eileen Casey arrived in NYC from Boston, MA at 18 to pursue her professional dance career. She studied with all the top teachers in New York at the time, including Luigi and Matt Mattox. Her first ob was a TV commercial dancing with Broadway performers. Shortly thereafter, she booked a summer stock job, obtaining her Equity card and fast on her way to a career totaling 16 Broadway shows, as well as TV and film.
Eileen worked with all the major director/choreographers of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, such as Bob Fosse, Gower Champion, Jerome Robbins, Tommy Tune, and Michael Bennett. She traveled extensively, performing with greats like Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, and Fred Astaire, which gave her invaluable experience.
Highlights of her career were working on Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz as a principal dancer, and a TV special with Fred Astaire and as a ghost dancer in the Woody Allen film “Everybody Says I Love You.”
Eileen’s Broadway credits include Hello Dolly, West Side Story, Mame, Promises Promises, Sugar, Seesaw, Pippin, Dancin’, and My One and Only. she loved performing in the annual Milliken Breakfast shows and working with the top Broadway stars and choreographers there. Eileen attributes her success to her love and discipline for her profession, along with enthusiasm and thrive to succeed. She considers herself fortunate to have worked with all these legends of theater and dance.

Eileen Casey in "All That Jazz"

Eileen Casey in “All That Jazz”

Carolyn Kirsch
Carolyn wishes to thank John Sefakis and the Dancers over 40 Board of Directors for this venerable, and meaningful, Legacy Award. Carolyn has appeared in 15 Broadway productions over a 21 year period of performing in New York City. During that time she worked extensively for director/choreographers Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse. For Mr. Fosse she appeared in both the First National and Broadway companies of How to Succeed and Sweet Charity, and toured with the First National company of Chicago in which she played Velma Kelly. She was one of the first teachers of Fosse Technique in the country to be sanctioned by The Verdon Fosse Estate. The Estate, led by Nicole Fosse, daughter of Gwen Verdon and Bob fosse, has a stated mission to ensure that the Verdon-Fosse style is passed on to younger generations in an authentic manner. For Mr. Bennett, Carolyn appeared in the Broadway productions of A Chorus Line (OBC) as well as Coco, Company, and Promises Promises. A student of Uta Hagan and Austin Pendleton, Carolyn received the NH Theatre Award for Best Actress in 2008 for her portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie.
In Connecticut she has appeared in leading roles in Driving Miss Daisy, On Golden Pond, Grey Gardens, and Dancing at Lughnasa. She also recently directed a critically acclaimed production of Equus. Her original play, The Waltz, based on the life of French sculptress Camille Claudel, was selected as a semi-finalist at The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference 2012.
An active member of DO40, Carolyn is passing on the legacy to a new generation of talent. She presently is the Musical Theatre Department Chair of The Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan, and was on the faculty of The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts for many years. She proudly serves on The Board of Directors of The Connecticut Dance Alliance.

Penny Worth
Penny Worth is the third generation of her family in professional Broadway theater. She has come full circle as an educator, starting as a teacher at her parents’ studio in Morristown, New Jersey Patty attended the Convent of Sacred Heart in Farleigh Dickenson and Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
Her performing credits include: the last original tour of Cabaret, Broadway in Coco, Debbie Reynolds’ Act, Broadway and National Tour of Irene, How to Succeed in LA as Rosemary, Broadway in the original Annie as Ms. Hannigan u/s, National Tour of Chicago as Roxie Hart (opposite Jerry Orbach and Carolyn Kirsch). After a 6-year layoff and two children, Penny returned to Broadway in Grand Hotel, covering the two leading ladies. Penny continues as part of DO40’s Legacy Project to further dance education by passing on Broadway choreography with her cohort in crime, Carolyn Kirsch. She is currently the coordinator of “Look Good, Feel Better” at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which helps women deal with appearance issues while being treated for cancer. Penny considers her most rewarding role as that of mother to Meaghan Anderson of Boston, MA, and Coleman Anderson of Baltimore, MD.

Penny Worth and Carolyn Kirsch in "Chicago"

Penny Worth and Carolyn Kirsch in “Chicago”

June Fosse Master Classes Had Everyone Sing Sing Singing…..

 

It was another amazing week of dancing as both our master classes tackled “Sing! Sing! Sing!” from Bob Fosse’s Dancin’.  Dancin’ opened on Broadway in 1978 as a musical revue—a celebration of emotion and movement.  With numbers including “Sing! Sing! Sing!” “Crunchy Granola Suite,” and “I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man,” it’s no surprise Bob Fosse scored the Tony for Best Choreography.

While “Sing! Sing! Sing!” is quite the marathon of a dance, we were able to reconstruct this syncopated and stylized piece with lots of help from a few guest teachers from Dancin’: Linda Haberman (OBCand Bebe Neuwirth.

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The morning session of the June Fosse Master Class (with Dana Moore, Valarie Pettiford, Lynn Sterling, and Lloyd Culbreath)

 

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The afternoon session of the June Fosse Master Class (with Linda Haberman, Bebe Neuwirth, Dana Moore, Valarie Pettiford, Lynn Sterling, and Lloyd Culbreath)

 

Watch “Sing! Sing! Sing!” from Fosse’s Dancin’ perform for the 1978 Tony Awards.  And stay tuned for more master classes coming soon!

 

 

CONGRADULATIONS BARRY AND FRAN WEISSLER!! 2013

Today in 1996, the first Broadway revival of Chicago opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and it continues to run at the Ambassador Theatre. Chicago is a musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago, with music is by John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Chicago’s 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway and is its fourth longest-running show.

In celebration of this day, we bring you ‘All That Jazz’ as performed by Bebe Neuwirth on the Rosie O’Donnell Show. Click below to check it out!

http://youtu.be/66Vmsl_CuEg

And below from the original 1975 productions of CHICAGO are the official commercial …….and second, Jerry Orback and the girls performing “We Want Billy”

 

VIA Broadway World…..

Fosse Veteran Louise Quick Pays It Forward 2013

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This summer the The Fosse Master Class Series was honored to have the one and only Louise Quick teach “The Manson Trio” from Bob Fosse’s original production of Pippin.  Louise worked with Fosse in pre-production on all the dance numbers for that show.  She later went on to London with Gene Foote to stage that production of Pippin.  

 

Louise, a Broadway veteran, started her career in the chorus of Bye Bye Birdie.  She was a replacement in the original production of Sweet Charity and went on to assist Fosse and dance in the movie version.  She was also in the movie Cabaret, as well as, assisting Fosse on the award winning television special Liza with a Z.

 
Louise is an inspiration to anyone that meets her and was a true champion for the Verdon Fosse Estate from inception.
 
 
We honor her here with a video clip of Louise Quick, Dana Moore, Lloyd Culbreath, and the participants of The June Fosse Master Class Series working on one of Fosse’s most famous trios.
 
 
 
 

Gene Foote Addresses Fosse Master Class Series 2013

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And they just keep on coming!!  The force of nature known as Gene Foote stopped by the Fosse Master Class Series on Thursday.  Gene (Original Cast member of Pippin, Sweet Charity, and Chicago) took time to tell stories, give history of movements, and clean the participants learning The Frug from Sweet Charity.  All attending were inspired by Gene’s love of his craft and his heartfelt respect for Bob Fosse.  More guest appearances to come in 2014………

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(Left to Right) Chicago Original Cast Members Candy Brown, Gene Foote, Jerry Orbach, Ron Schwinn, Pamela Sousa, and Dick Korthaze

Chita Tribute for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS……OFF THE CHAIN 2013

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I am still reeling from the shear force of talent known as Chita Rivera ..Tonight was one of those nights in theater that are too far and few between….Chita’s tribute to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS was OFF THE CHAIN YA”LL…So great to be with Valarie PettifordDana MooreMary Callahan, and Roumel Reaux representing The Verdon Fosse Estate …..loved sitting next to Andrea Burns while watching my West Side Story buddies Robert Montano, Ramon Del Barrio, and Richard Amaro, and Fosse Master Class teacher Lloyd Culbreath back up Chita….oh yes I’m dropping names…saw John Sefakis, Harvey Evans, Jim Caruso,Kevin Spirtas, Charles Scatamocchia, divalish Carol Schuberg, Jerry McIntyre….and ….Fosse Master Class participants Gabriela Garcia of R.Evolucion Latina, Olivia Bowman Jackson, and Abdur-Rahim Jackson.

In the words of Dana Moore..”it was such a magnificent, once in a lifetime, spirit lifting event!”

Steve Jones, Fosse Master Class Series, Assistant to Nicole Fosse

Great highlights video of the evening below.  At the 1:58 mark Chita pays tribute to Gwen Verdon while singing “Nowadays” from the Broadway musical Chicago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PuZdn5rqQk

 

Why “www.VerdonFosse.com” ?

Personal stationery top center titled “Verdon – Fosse” and below reading longhand in ink “Thank you Gwen” 

After receiving Bob Fosse’s estate, all official documents came to Gwen Verdon titled “Verdon – Fosse.” Additionly we are paying homage to her own personlized stationery. See above.

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

Bob Fosse’s Chicago rare press photo after musician strike, 1975

Pictured above an image of “ticket-seekers” line formed outside of the 46th Street Theatre. Having the marque top billing centered reading “Gwen Verdon Chita Rivera Jerry Orbach, Chicago, A Musical Vaudeville” also reading Continue reading