50th Anniversary of “Sweet Charity” on Broadway 1966-2016

BarSceneDrinkToday 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.

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Gwen Verdon “Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus” Sweet Charity, 1966

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially 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 below are two original black and white press call or news print publicity photograph proofs featuring Gwen Verdon in full costume as Charity Hope Valentine in the original 1966 Tony award winning Broadway “musical smash” hit Sweet Charity conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse.  Gwen Verdon is pictured gallantly waving her right arm atop a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance used elephant with side promotional panels reading “Sweet Charity.”GwenRinglingBro Continue reading

Gwen Verdon “She’s a Sweetheart!” Sweet Charity, 1967

Pictured is Gwen Verdon backstage as Charity Hope Valentine during the original Broadway “musical smash” hit Sweet Charity conceived, 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.

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Bob Fosse “Sweet Charity” Choreographer Tony Award, 1966

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.”

FosseSweetCharityTonyMeasuring 3 inches in diameter, mounted on a custom square presentation wall display with black velvet fabric surround. Continue reading

“Big Spender” Fan-Dango Ballroom Girls, 1966

 Good looking, so refined.

BigSpender Brian Cummings colorFeaturing 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

Fosse Veteran Louise Quick Pays It Forward 2013

IMG_5099This 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.

Block Buster Day at Fosse Master Class Series 2013


maxresdefaultAll this week the Fosse Master Class Series is taking on learning The Frug from Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity at Manhattan Movement and Art….Today the morning session was graced with Fosse veterans Carolyn Kirsch and Penny Worth sitting in on the class.  Just next door Donna McKecknie, Baayork Lee, and Margo Sappington were filming their signature number from Promises Promises…Turkey Lurky Time.  All three ladies stopped by class for a quick run through of what Lloyd Culbreath and Valarie Pettiford had taught the “Fosse Kids” so far.  Just another day of Broadway legends…..OMG!!!!!