Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Randomness--Fabulous Fosse

I recently watched a movie choreographed by Fosse which led to another and another and then to this post.

 

 The picture quality is not the best but here's a scene from Kiss Me Kate; the shorter of the pair of guys, the one who dances with the girl in the salmon colored dress, is Bob Fosse. He choreographed the solo he and his partner (Carol Hainey) and it is brilliant. I didn't know this before but apparently this brought him to the attention of Broadway producers and the rest is history!

 

 He first worked on The Pajama Game which, to be honest, has cute music but little else. But there's this wonderful number. The hats and the silhouettes created by the costume are pure Fosse, as you will soon see.

 

Gwen Verdon was Fosse's wife and muse for quite a while and you can really see this in "Whatever Lola Wants," from Damn Yankees, which begins at about 3:50.

 

Sweet Charity is, in my opinion, the first film that allowed Fosse's choreography to truly shine. (I tried to find Shirley McClaine's If They Could See Me Now but was unable to do so. Darn!) Still, see the silhouettes and how he allows the dancer's movements and body to take center stage?

 

When I first heard they were making a film version of Chicago I shuddered, thinking they would change too much. Whatever they else they may or may not have changed, they kept the look of Fosse's choreography and that's truly all that matters!

 

 So few are familiar with Fosse's role as the snake in The Little Prince which is, in my opinion, a pure shame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-24Zm0bjk

I knew at least one of these would have "embedding disabled" and here we are . . . Cabaret. Pure Fosse. Fosse. So brilliant, it hurts. And I can't even say what I wouldn't do for a dvd version of Sam Mendes' version Cabaret which Rob and I saw in a touring company starring Lea Thompson as Sally. (She was good. Seriously.) Anyway, I found a bits and pieces version with Alan Cumming as "the host" and it doesn't take long to see why this production is so brilliant. A far darker, even sinister, version. The tone is far more apropos to the story and the ending is chilling. If you have the time and inclination, watch the various parts in sequence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW5eFCFnW9c

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