“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.”
FOX television recently released that an untitled Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon miniseries is in the works. Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are set to star in the leading roles and the creative team is comprised of Lin-Manuel Miranda (producer), Tommy Kail (director), Steven Levenson (book), and Andy Blankenbuehler (choreographer).
“Based on Fosse, the biography written by Sam Wasson, the limited series tells the story of the singular romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors, she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. (you can watch one of their classic dance numbers under the post.) Together they changed the face of American entertainment – at a perilous cost. Featuring Fosse’s choreography, the series explores the hidden corners of show business, the price of pursuing greatness, and the suffering inflicted in the name of art” (Nelly Andreeva for Deadline).
Nicole Fosse, artistic director of The Verdon Fosse Legacy and co-producer of this upcoming project, remarked, “My mother and father have one of the greatest love stories ever known. They were extremely complex people with an indestructible bond, loyalty, and trust that endured both fantasy and reality. Finally, we have a creative team with the talent and wisdom to tell the story.”
The mission of The Verdon Fosse Legacy is to promote, protect, and preserve the artistic and intellectual property of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. Here’s a snippet of Fosse dancer, Candy Brown, sharing how she feels Artistic Director, Nicole Fosse, is keeping this mission statement alive.
Saturday Review magazine cover with headlines reading “They’re Young, Restless, Successful and Talented – Who Are The Young Meteors? / America’s Hot New Dancers What they do for love / Bringing A Chorus Line to the Screen: Director Richard Attenborough and Dancer Nicole Fosse,” dated June 1985 with newsstand cover price of $2.50.
The film screening included a panel discussion with assistant choreographer Gene Foote, Nicole Fosse, and two dancers from the film: Eileen Casey and Candace Tovar.
“Bob Fosse’s film both celebrates show business and strips it of its glitter, glamour and all that jazz.” Winner of 4 Academy Awards and voted a Palm d’Or (Best Picture) at the Cannes Film Festival 1980 ROY SCHEIDER in
ALL THAT JAZZ
“It’s showtime, folks!” That’s the refrain of anxiety-ridden and unhealthfully driven choreographer Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) at the center of Fosse’s semi-autobiographical musical extravaganza, also featuring star turns by Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, and Jessica Lange. Scheider is never less than captivating in his portrayal of Gideon, a complicated figure not so secretly patterned after Fosse himself. Long out of circulation, the Oscar-winning tour de force is back on the big screen after a 15-year 4K digital restoration by The Film Foundation.
Gene Foote, Eileen Casey, Nicole Fosse, and Candace Tovar photo credit: Dance Films Association