“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.”
Congratulations to the dancers of La Guardia High School’s senior showcase. The Verdon Fosse Legacy was honored to reconstruct Bob Fosse’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” (DANCIN’ 1978) for the show’s finale. Lloyd Culbreath and VFL protege, Alyssa Epstein, reconstructed the entire 13-minute work. La Guardia’s band provided invigorating live orchestration for this musically magical piece of choreography. Here are a few highlights from the performance. Thank you to Gregory Sinacori and the La Guardia dance department administration for making this possible. (Photography: Scott Allen, Costumes: Keiko Voltaire)
The dancers will revive their show-stopping performance at this year’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in early August. Stay tuned for more!
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.
For more information visit www.stepsnyc.com.
Linda Haberman taught a sold-out FOSSE Work Session at Steps on Broadway. Haberman served as assistant choreographer for Bob Fosse’s last original musical, BIG DEAL, and also performed in DANCIN’ and PIPPIN. Check out a short video clip from class (“Beat Me Daddy” from BIG DEAL).
Broadway Dance Center is proud to host The Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC for a series of 3-hour master classes, in which students will learn iconic Fosse® rep under the direction of Fosse® veterans. Don’t miss your chance to train in one of Broadway’s most acclaimed techniques! These Adv FOSSE® REP classes are for dancers ages 16+.
Each week, students will learn choreography from the previous episode of Fosse/Verdon on FX! Click here to register.
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?
5 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 7
“Fosse/Verdon” Leans on Fosse Biography, Nicole Fosse for Accuracy
The upcoming eight-episode series, starring Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as his partner Gwen Verdon, is based on Sam Wasson’s “Fosse” biography and the input of Nicole Fosse, the pair’s daughter who acts as a producer for the show. But when asked if “Fosse/Verdon” reached out to anyone else depicted in the series (including Shirley MacClaine and Ann Reinking), especially after Olivia de Havilland sued over the portrayal of her on “Feud,” the creative team demurred, pointing to the extensive research and interviews that Wasson had originally done for the book.
“There’s also archival material and all sorts of other stuff to look at,” said executive producer Joel Fields, who most recently painstakingly fact-checked fact versus fiction on “The Americans.” “But our goal is to explore a relationship between [Fosse and Verdon] and to do it in an authentic way, and we are never looking to whip something up. So I don’t think that’s been an issue for us. It’s been easy to follow what the truth was as we see it and to try to let the drama flow out of that.”