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.

SweetCharityGV Continue reading

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!!!!!

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

GwenChita1998

 

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

 

Broadway World Interviews Lloyd Culbreath and Valarie Pettiford

broadwayworld_1331576590_600by Mary Callahan

Broadway World sat down with Broadway veterans, Lloyd Culbreath (DANCIN;’ BIG DEAL; SOPHISTICATED LADIES; THE TAP DANCE KID; HONKY TONK NIGHTS; ANYTHING GOES; GUYS AND DOLLS; CHITA RIVERA: THE DANCER’S LIFE; NO STRINGS, Encores; HOUSE OF FLOWERS, Encores; CARNIVAL, Encores; PROMISES, PROMISES, Encores; MAN OF LA MANCHA, Asst. Choreo.; ON THE TOWN, Asst. Choreo.) and Valarie Pettiford (TV/Film actress; CHICAGO, as Velma, London with Chita Rivera; SHOW BOAT Revival Tour, Julie; 30th Anniversary Tour of WEST SIDE STORY, Anita; SOPHISTICATED LADIES; GRIND; BIG DEAL; FOSSE, Tony Nominee), to discuss their efforts to preserve Bob Fosse’s legendary choreography for the next generation of dancers.  The pair held an exclusive Fosse Workshop in early February and invited fifty professional dancers to learn the signature style and articulation of Fosse choreography.  Nicole Fosse, the Director and Artistic Advisor for the Verdon Fosse Estate, remarked, “I want this current generation of working dancers to get the best possible people teaching them my father’s material.  There are so many false impressions out there of what my father’s style and technique is…By using Estate sanctioned teachers, I feel a new generation of dancers will have a much cleaner understanding of performing Fosse material.” Continue reading

“The Musical Smash at the Palace” Gwen Verdon starring in Sweet Charity, 1966

In 1965, The Nederlanders turned New York City’s famed Palace Theatre into a legitimate theatrical stage for the opening of Sweet Charity 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.

Today the Palace Theatre has 1,740 seats and is one of The Nederlander Organization’s nine Broadway theatres.

Below pictured front cover of the 1966 original Broadway production program of Sweet Charity reading in part: Continue reading