How ‘Lola’ helped Bob Fosse handle Gwen’s ‘bad reputation’

Dance
In a 1991 interview with Gwen Verdon on CUNY Television, the great Gwen describes her first encounter with Fosse as her choreographer for Damn Yankees. I had seen [Fosse] at MGM studios. We had met at a party that Michael Kidd gave. I had a reputation for being difficult … and I was. I was ...

Mere mortals to evoke Verdon & Fosse, giants of American dance

Dance · Film
Nicole Fosse (middle), artistic director of The Verdon Fosse Legacy and co-producer of a newly announced FX Networks mini-series now in development about her parents’ professional and romantic bond, poses with the talented actors, Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell, slated to play the leading roles of Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse. On the one hand, ...

Gwen calls out Bob’s choreography in Gap commercial 4

Dance
In a 1999 interview, Gwen Verdon (1925 – 2000) expressed mild exasperation at the use of choreography by Bob Fosse (1927 – 1987) in a commercial by The Gap. “It’s very interesting that right now there is “Go Go Khaki,” a commercial for The Gap. They are doing the Frug. It’s amazing. They are not ...

Patricia Morison remembers … Martha Graham, Kiss Me Kate, more 5

Dance · Film · Theater
We so enjoyed a charming conversation with Broadway and Hollywood doyenne Patricia Morison at her Los Angeles home July 6, 2017. The originator of the role of “Kate” in Kiss Me Kate, still vivacious and chatty at age 102, shared happy  memories of her career. She took special care to describe the role that dance ...

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 ...

Valentine to “All That Jack (Cole)”

Dance · Film
A Valentine to all the super-talented folks who contributed, by way of interviews and film introductions, or just by being there, to renewed appreciation for a great American choreographer. Thanks, all, for participating in “All That Jack (Cole)” at The Museum of Modern Art, Jan 20 – Feb 4, 2016. Below: director/choreographer Rob Marshall introduces ...

Writhing & wriggling Gwen Verdon elicits yawns in “David and Bathsheba”

Dance · Film
In this wonderful clip from DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (1951), the great Gwen Verdon fails to arouse the attention of a couple of onlookers, despite choreographer Jack Cole throwing every slinky trick in the book at them. Watching Gorgeous Gwen, you’d think they’d at least sit up in their chairs! The 20th Century-Fox Biblical epic, directed ...