Mimi Quillin (who served as dance captain and assistant to Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon for the 1986 Broadway revival of SWEET CHARITY) reconstructed “If My Friends Could See Me Now” for Broadway Backwards last Monday. The 13th annual edition of the show, which celebrates the LGBTQ community through gender-reversed renditions of beloved showtunes, raised an incredible $680,273 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. The show was produced by Broadway Cares.
Jay Armstrong Johnson and Mimi Quillin in rehearsal
Jay Armstrong Johnson in the arms of John Glover
Jay Armstrong Johnson
“When On the Town’s Jay Armstrong Johnson unexpectedly found himself in the apartment of Tony Award winner John Glover, Johnson excitedly launched into “If My Friends Could See Me Now” from Sweet Charity. Johnson impressively performed the original, iconic Bob Fosse choreography, recreated for Johnson by Mimi Quillin.”—BC/EFA
For more information on Broadway Backwards and all of the wonderful events and programs of BC/EFA, visit www.broadwaycares.org.
The mission of The Verdon Fosse Legacy is to promote, protect, and preserve the artistic and intellectual property of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. Here’s a snippet of Fosse dancer, Candy Brown, sharing how she feels Artistic Director, Nicole Fosse, is keeping this mission statement alive.
The Verdon Fosse Legacy was invited to Wright State University for a week-long immersion of Fosse technique and repertoire with their dance and musical theatre departments. Veteran Fosse dance and one of the Legacy’s leading reconstructeurs, Lloyd Culbreath, and his assistant, Marissa Calabrese, taught daily master classes, participated in a talk-back, and reconstructed “Rich Man’s Frug” from SWEET CHARITY for the department’s spring concert.
“The program, staff, and facility were all fantastic. And the students were incredibly talented. It was an honor and an absolute pleasure to work with such talent and professionalism.”—Lloyd Culbreath
The Verdon Fosse Legacy would like to extend a special thank you to The Musical Theatre Initiative at Wright State University and it’s director, Joe Deer, for making this collaboration possible. For more information about Wright State University, visit www.wright.edu. All inquiries regarding choreographic reconstructions of Bob Fosse’s work can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month Mimi Quillin visited Milan, Italy and was welcomed to teach at the Centro Danzaricerca. The studio, owned and operated by Agnese Riccatelli, was founded over thirty years ago and their students are currently in the finals of “Italy’s Got Talent.” Mimi taught the Bob Fosse’s iconic “Rich Man’s Frug” from SWEET CHARITY, for which she served as dance captain and assistant to Bob and Gwen for the 1986 Broadway revival.
Mimi and Centro Danzaricerca owner, Agnese Riccatelli
American caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, created a number of iconic black-and-white cartoons of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon chronicling their Broadway careers. Hirschfeld would publish his portraits of dancers, singers, and actors prior to a new Broadway show’s opening night. Below are several caricatures from The Al Hirschfeld Foundation.
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.
Dance wardrobe material from the Verdon Fosse Legacy archives, a black sateen collapsible top hat with grosgrain band and brim detail. Having traditional curl or rounded brim. Satin fabric lined interior is marked by hand in white marker reading Continue reading →
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.
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.
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 →