Last week a group of Fosse students reconstructed “Streets of Laredo,” a five-part, eight-minute comedic ballet satirizing the rough, yet romantic American West: cowboys, saloon girls, hoedowns, bar fights, and, of course, a happy ending where the good guy comes out on top (quite the contrast to many of Fosse’s later more realistic works such as Sweet Charity and “All That Jazz”).
“Streets of Laredo” premiered on a TV special back in 1958 entitled “The Wonderful World of Entertainment.” The hour-long special—all choreographed by Bob Fosse—took audiences through the evolution of entertainment in American culture.
Even if you’re a huge Fosse fan, you’ve probably never heard of “Streets of Laredo.” That’s because the piece doesn’t exist on YouTube or other internet archives. The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC-sanctioned instructors Valarie Pettiford, Lloyd Culbreath, Dana Moore, and Lynn Sterling (along with assistants Marissa Calabrese and Mary Callahan) spent hours and hours at New York City’s Paley Center for Media watching, re-watching, and annotating all of the choreography.
Thank you to all of the talented and dedicated dancers who helped us as part of a “skeleton crew” to reconstruct this marvelous piece!