“The most touching moment occurred when [Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s] grandson, Noah Fosse, who admitted to never getting to meet his grandfather, recalled his grandmother as being his “best friend” and–as a senior citizen–still building forts by toppling the couches in the living room. Thank goodness for (their daughter) Nicole and Noah who continue to honor and promote the Verdon Fosse Legacy! In a titillating trio that displayed exactly why Bob Fosse has maintained such an exalted status, the star of the FX series Fosse/Verdon who played Chita Rivera–Bianca Pamela Marroquin–along with the slinky, sexy dance studs Nicholas de la Vega and Nicholas Sipes, performed the number “I Gotcha” from Liza With a Z that garnered Fosse awards and recognition in his landmark year, 1972. The scintillating threesome brought sizzle to the evening with their red-hot presentation. With her swinging ponytail, long legs, knocked knees and quirky attitude, Marroquin channeled Minelli on stage as flawlessly as she did Rivera on the screen. Mimi Quillin, who worked with Fosse and Verdon, reconstructed the smokin’ dance from a video, which the talented dancers adapted to in almost no time. The two Nicks referred to one of the most thrilling, iconic and challenging signature Fosse moves–the scoot–where they crawl across the stage, stiff upper body, shuffling feet and bent knees (a bit like Voguing but more painful) as “the thigh burner.”
The Verdon Fosse Legacy performed in the 9th annual Dance Against Cancer event at Lincoln Center. This year’s event raised over $450,000 for The American Cancer Society. Verdon Fosse Legacy Protege, Michael McArthur, reconstructed “Mexican Breakfast” (Ed Sullivan Show, 1969) for a trio of VFL dancers (Alyssa Epstein, Nicolas de la Vega, and Nicholas Sipes) and students from the Kanyok Arts Institute. Thank you to all of the dancers, donors, and administrators that helped facilitate this incredible performance for an incredible cause.
Stephanie Pope (BIG DEAL, SWEET CHARITY, FOSSE) and J Ryan Carroll visited Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey to teach “Bye, Bye Blackbird” to a class of enthusiastic and hard-working students. Great job, dancers!
The Verdon Fosse Legacy mourns the loss of Stanley Donen. Donen directed such films as “Give A Girl A Break” (1953), “The Pajama Game” (1957), “Damn Yankees” (1958), and “The Little Prince” (1974).
Fosse veteran Stephanie Pope (BIG DEAL, SWEET CHARITY) taught a master class to dancers of KMJ Jazz Company and Expressions Dance in North Carolina. Aren’t these kids just the cutest little “blackbirds” you ever did see?
Today celebrate with us the birthday of one of America’s brightest stage and screen stars, Gwyneth Evelyn Verdon born January 13, 1925.
Pictured an unseen candid Polaroid image of a bright eyed teenage Gwen Verdon from The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC archives, measuring 2.5 x 4 inches overall.
The annual Actors Fund/Career Transition for Dancers Gala took place on October 31st at the New York Mariott Marquis. Funds raised by this gala provide vital services to the professional dance community including career counselling; scholarships; health insurance guidance, counselling and enrollment support; housing services; case management and so much more. The gala, hosted by Bebe Neuwirth, honored Baayork Lee, Jerry Mitchell, John DeLuca, Rob Marshall, and Carmen de Lavallade.
The Verdon Fosse Legacy was invited to perform again for this year’s event. Lloyd Culbreath and Marissa Calabrese reconstructed Bob Fosse’s “Mexican Breakfast” on Alexa de Barr, Jessica Lee Goldyn, and Cajai Fellows Johnson. The groovy trio, which originally starred Gwen Verdon, was performed on The Ed Sullivan Show (1969).
To learn more about The Actors Fund/Career Transition for Dancers, visit www.actorsfund.org.
DANCIN’ opened on Broadway on March 27, 1978, and ran a very successful four years, and was Bob Fosse’s only all-dancing and all-singing musical. To mark this historic event, Dancers Over 40 will assemble a spectacular “once-in-a-lifetime” panel of original cast members for the 40th anniversary (almost exactly to the day of their 1978 debut) on March 26, 2018, at St. Luke’s Theater.
The anniversary celebration will feature video clips as well as live performances from DANCIN’ (Percussion 1 & 3, with assistance from the Verdon/Fosse Legacy). Celebrating with us will be original cast members Gail Benedict, Sandahl Bergman, Wayne Cilento, Christine Colby, Jill Cook, Linda Haberman, Rickard Korthaze, Ann Reinking, William Whitener and Fosse DANCIN’ assistant and long-time DO40 member, Kathryn Doby. There will be two panels, the first being the reunion with original cast members, moderated by author, theater historian – and now a documentary filmmaker – Ken Bloom (Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of all Time and the upcoming documentary on Gwen Verdon). The second panel will be hosted by Kevin Winkler and include cast replacements from DANCIN’ and other Fosse dancers, including Eileen Casey, Dana Moore, Lloyd Culbreath and Diana Laurenson. Also, mention must be made of those talents we have lost, including DO40 founding member John Mineo, as well as Rene Ceballos, Chris Chadman, Ed Love and Charles Ward.
Dancers Over 40 is an all-volunteer, membership-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to preserving the history, legacy, and lives of our mature creative community while sharing the knowledge with the younger generation, particularly dancers just beginning their careers.