How They Met

In the American dance world of the early 1950’s Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon had heard of each other’s talents but their paths had never crossed.  That changed in the spring of 1955.
Producer Hal Prince and director George Abbott of the Broadway musical Damn Yankees had suggested to newly hired choreographer Bob Fosse the idea of casting Gwen Verdon for the role of “Lola”. Fosse was resistant at first.  After several failed casting calls, Fosse agreed to meet with Verdon, but only if he could spend a few days in a rehearsal hall seeing if he could work with the veteran Broadway redhead. The synergy that happened in those few days of rehearsal would come to change the careers of both these unique talents.  Bob and Gwen both earned Tony Awards for their participation in Damn Yankees and they would go on to become the most accomplished creative couple of the American Broadway Musical for the next three decades.

Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse in 1962 – network televised appearance and interview as Lola in Damn Yankees performing “Whatever Lola Wants.”

Overview of vintage “TIME The Weekly Newsmagazine” cover from “JUNE 13, 1955″ costing “TWENTY CENTS” reading right center of costumed character Lola cover-art illustration “Gwen Verdon of Damn Yankees” with a subscription cost of “$6.00 A Year” issue number  “VOL. LXV NO.24.