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 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
“Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by Bob Fosse” Detail 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 →
Overview image of Bob Fosse’s fifth bestowed nickel patina Tony Award medallion reading: “The American Theatre Wing presents to Bob Fosse, Choreographer For Distinguished Achievement in Theatre, “Sweet Charity”, 1965-66.”
Measuring 3 inches in diameter, mounted on a custom square presentation wall display with black velvet fabric surround. Continue reading →
Featuring the ten original Sweet Charity girls of the Fan-Dango Ballroom where Charity Hope Valentine works a taxi dancer in the Times Square theater district of New York City. Dancers pictured in colorful full stage costume during celebrated musical number “Big Spender” from Act I, Scene 3 with Helene Gallagher, Thelma Oliver and the Fan-Dango girls. Continue reading →
Robert Louis “Bob” Fosse born June 23, 1927 “Bob Fosse Fine Tuned”
LIFE magazine 1986 as published pages 26 and 27 Volume 9, Number 13
Cabaret, All That Jazz, Pippin, Sweet Charity, Lenny, Star 80, Dancin’, Liza with a Z (for television). Film director, choreographer actor, dancer, writer. Driven. workaholic, enigmatic. 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 →