Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The promos for this have been popping up on my feeds and it looks very interesting. Its 8 episodes and stars Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon.  Although this FX series isn’t being helmed by Ryan Murphy, who did the fabulous Versace, OJ, and Feud series, Nicole Fosse is one of the producers, along with Lin Manuel Miranda

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the heads-up, Deflope. It does look interesting and I will certainly tune in.

Involvement of family members can help or hurt. I guess we'll see.

Share this post


Link to post

According to interviews, they aren’t going to gloss over the unsavory aspects of Fosse’s life like All That Jazz did. I’m not sure what relationship Nicole had with her parents but judging from articles I don’t think it will be another Mommy Dearest. 

Share this post


Link to post

She had a good relationship with both parents. I actually hope the show isn't too prurient, but that's a lot to ask for these days.

Share this post


Link to post

Promos look great, but it's hard for me to get my head around Williams being a Broadway dancer. Her "celebrity" persona is almost the opposite.

Also, the only info I know about Fosse's life comes from All That Jazz. I didn't realise that was a sanitised version... 😃

Share this post


Link to post

"Sanitized" is a strong word. "All That Jazz" has its share of special pleading but Fosse's  self-portrait is more candid than many.

It's always better for dancers to play dancers. (Fosse did succeed in making Roy Scheider look like a dancer but that was Fosse.) There will be a lot of posing with hats and snapping fingers, I expect.

Share this post


Link to post

I saw Michelle when she was in Cabaret. She did better with the gloomier songs like “Maybe this time” than she did with the more showy numbers. 

Share this post


Link to post

Williams isn’t terribly sexy, either, although that didn’t stop her from essaying Marilyn, otherwise a good performance. I have a hard time seeing her replicating Verdon’s hot pixie appeal, but I think she will be reasonably well cast here.

How did you like that production of Cabaret, Deflope?

Share this post


Link to post

Alan Cumming was the highlight for me.  While a lot more camp than Joel Grey’s Emcee, there was still something unsettling beneath it all.  I kind of saw Grey’s Emcee as the devil while Cumming’s as more of a haunting theatre ghost

The look and feel was somewhat more sinister. The ending also was stunning to say the least. When the Emcee opens his coat the theatre went completely silent. 

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, Deflope said:

Alan Cumming was the highlight for me.  While a lot more camp than Joel Grey’s Emcee, there was still something unsettling beneath it all.  I kind of saw Grey’s Emcee as the devil while Cumming’s as more of a haunting theatre ghost

The look and feel was somewhat more sinister. The ending also was stunning to say the least. When the Emcee opens his coat the theatre went completely silent. 

I never saw Grey in the theater, but I am so glad I saw Alan Cumming in the revival a few years ago in the 54th st theater. The Good Wife was still playing on TV and it was a reminder of what an extraordinarily gifted and versatile performer he is. I love the filmed version of Cabaret, but found the ending very tame compared to the stage play. A work for our times, for sure.

Share this post


Link to post

Joel Grey was in the touring cast of "Stop the World I Want to Get Off" where he may have worked out some of the ideas he later used in "Cabaret."

And earlier than that, Grey belted, Grey-style, a rather witty love song love song called "You're Far from Wonderful" in "The Littlest Revue." Ogdon Nash wrote the lyrics, Vernon Duke and John Latouche the music, Ben Bagley was the producer. Charlotte Ray ("Sommer Is A-Coming In"), Tammy Grimes ("I'm Glad I'm Not a Man") and Tommy Morton ("I Want to Fly Now (And Pay Later") were among the cast members. Still seems to be only on old vinyl but worth a listen – no duds.

Anyway for me "Cabaret," like "Sunset Boulevard" the musical from Wilder's film, is too far afield from Isherwood's subtle original (via "I Am a Camera") – it loses all its real Berliness in the saturated color and high production values.

Added: Pajama Game & Damn Yankees made nice movies. Carol Haney in Steam Heat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0szHqIXQ2R8

 

Edited by Quiggin

Share this post


Link to post

The de-Isherwoodizing started early on, with John van Druten’s stage adaptation, which was titled “I Am a Camera.” I’d say the two central things that got lost were 1) the cabaret was not so much a Symbol of Moral Degeneracy as a little refuge from same and 2) the sleaziest people in Isherwood’s stories aren’t German.

 Thank you for the clip, Quiggin. Haney was charming in The Pajama Game. Hers was a sad story.

 Verdon had a marvelous face for the stage but the camera didn’t like her as much.

 The film of Cabaret is one of the great movie musicals and it was only Fosse’s second picture as a director. The leap that Fosse made as a filmmaker between Sweet Charity and Cabaret was truly prodigious.

Share this post


Link to post

Managed to catch up on the first episode. It assumes the viewer knows what’s going on and is familiar with the IMDb summary of who Fosse and Verdon are, so knows, for example, why there was some awkwardness when “Shirley” appeared in the Sweet Charity filming scene.

That being said, Michelle Williams is doing a great job in the role so far, at least as far as the acting goes. Next week is supposed to flashback to Damn Yankees, so we’ll see if we get Who’s Got The Pain or Whatever Lola Wants. 

Share this post


Link to post
On 3/1/2019 at 9:07 AM, dirac said:

The film of Cabaret is one of the great movie musicals and it was only Fosse’s second picture as a director. The leap that Fosse made as a filmmaker between Sweet Charity and Cabaret was truly prodigious.

bingo

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure how they're going to handle the dancing later in the series,  but I worked with both Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon behind the scenes,  and Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are doing an extraordinary job of capturing their personalities,  body language,  and especially the distinctive tone of their voices.  They weren't angels,  but both of them were at heart very vulnerable people.  

Share this post


Link to post

Did anyone else notice that Georgina Pazcoguin of NYCB was in the first episode of Fosse Verdon?  She even had a small speaking role.  Her appearance was in the Sweet Charity segment.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm loving this series.  

Were ensemble dancers really treated that badly? The first episode is sad.  They are treated as disposable, desperate, kind of lazy, and they are so objectified. (The scene with Georgina where they appear to be taunting the dancer about wanting to sit down? ) The Cabaret episode is the same way (The interactions are so demeaning to the dancers.) I applaud the authentic characterization and depiction but I find it terribly sad. I just think it is so important to call out/recall/remember these figures are real people. 

Remembering that this was not that long ago suggests how far dance still really has to come. . .

 

Edited by balletforme

Share this post


Link to post

I will keep watching, but disappointing viewing so far. It doesn't help that Fosse told a lot of this story using many of the same devices and told it better. The weak link for me is Rockwell - his acting is not bad but he's just a charmless unattractive lump, you can't imagine why he could think he had a shot at being a musical comedy star or why women like McCracken and Verdon would be tussling over him. (He's a little better when he's older with the beard. I'm just praying they don't show him trying to do the Snake in the Grass.)

Share this post


Link to post

I keep watching but the comparisons with All That Jazz are painful. Fosse/Verndon feels so workmanlike, while All That Jazz covers similar material but with the spark of Fosse's genius. I feel like this is what happens every time there's a biography of someone who was exceptionally talented at telling his or her own story.

For instance I read a biography of Moss Hart and it filled in so many blanks in his life but was not nearly as absorbing as Hart's own autobiography Act One. 

Edited by canbelto

Share this post


Link to post

Theoretically the value of the show should lie in  the highlighting of Verdon’s story, but since so far we have seen her mainly as Fosse’s loyal wife and helpmeet (I’m only as far as the third episode), that’s not very much. Williams can’t dance, so we don’t get to see Verdon the star. Episode 3 does try to remedy this by showing us the travails of Verdon’s early life in somewhat melodramatic fashion (Verdon the young mother leaves squalling baby in Grandma’s arms as she goes off to make a living, etc.) Verdon is long-suffering, Fosse is caddish and strung out ……….at this rate it’s going to be a long eight episodes.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...