Gwen falls for Fred, but he does not fall back

Dance
From an interview with James Heneghan, son of the great Gwen Verdon … remembers James: “We were walking down the street in Beverly Hills, and I was walking next to my Mom. I was grown up.” “All of a sudden she fell off the curb and landed on the front of a car! “I said, ...

Judy Garland’s admiration for Gwen Verdon’s husband

Dance
Recently researching dance history at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, I came across this nugget from Gwen Verdon. In an interview, Gwen recounted a story with droll wit, Judy Garland once said to me, “Oh your husband has done such a marvelous job!” And I said who??? Because I really did ...

Chita Rivera conquers Carnegie Hall

Dance · Music · Reviews · Theater
Holding court in her Carnegie Hall debut Monday evening, Broadway legend Chita Rivera gave gobs of pleasure and a pre-election-day boost to a very well-sold house. Prior to the show, a good many attendees swarmed the 57th Street sidewalk in anticipation of a special evening. In a solo showcase that got by with a little ...

Gwen & Chita’s ‘Nowadays’ better than ours

Dance · Theater
In this yummilicious snippet from the Tony Award broadcast of 1984, Broadway goddesses Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon deliver a pastiche-pairing of numbers from Bob Fosse’s “Chicago.” Chita electrifies with her song-and-dance forcefulness in “All That Jazz.” But Verdon, joining for “Nowadays,” gives a lesson in subtle upstaging — no easy feat considering her dance ...

Fosse unfurled

Dance
A true magnum opus, arts·meme contributor Larry Billman‘s authoritative essay on choreographer Bob Fosse written in 2012 for the Dance Heritage Coalition‘s “100 American Dance Treasures” series. Read it here. American dancer and choreographer Bob Fosse (1927 – 1987) works out routines alone at the Broadway Arts Studio (1755 Broadway at 55th Street), New York, January ...

Ann Miller, in KISS ME KATE 3-D, too darn hot! 1

Dance · Film
It was awfully fun, during TCM Fest 2015, to run into Jon Olivan who heads up the TCM Classic Movie Fan Club in Los Angeles. We mixed and mingled in Club TCM, sipping (complementary) Humphrey Bogart gin surrounded by Mike Kaplan’s great dance-movie posters exhibited in that lounge. Olivan shared a special memory of “Kiss ...

Dance critic’s TCM Fest 2015

Dance · Film
On the cusp of the sixth annual TCM Classic Film Festival set to open Thursday night in Hollywood, our dance-critic’s eye is finding at least two strong movie musical entries — with great cinematic dance. 42ND STREET (1933), Saturday March 28, 11:30 am “Naughty, gaudy, bawdy, sporty” 42ND STREET gets a facelift with the world premiere ...

Finessing Fosse’s furious, filigreed dance style

Dance
New Yorkers can sign on — hey, Angelenos may like to fly east — for a rare opportunity. It’s January’s installment of a monthly master-class series that seeks to preserve a classic American jazz-dance vernacular: the angular, syncopated dance jive fostered by choreographer Bob Fosse. A good sampling of Fosse’s house-style is on view in ...

How “Birdcage” choreographer Vince Paterson created ‘Fosse Fosse Fosse’ number 4

Dance · Film
“I had the joy of working with Mike Nichols twice. First on “The Birdcage,” and then on “Closer,” I directed Natalie [Portman] and Clive [Owen] in some movement.” We were chatting with choreographer Vincent Paterson on the sad occasion of the death of director Mike Nichols. While working on “The Birdcage,” Paterson created, on the ...

Koehler Clips: Sondheim, Fosse, Nicolas Rey

Film
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For those of us who think that the decline of the American musical theater (putting aside “The Book of Mormon,” coming back soon to the Pantages) is a pretty sad spectacle, we have a nice fix of the real thing with “Six by Sondheim,” an ingeniously conceived look at Stephen Sondheim’s art directed by his ...