THE love story of mercurial Broadway choreographer and Oscar winning director Bob Fosse and his wife, four-time Tony winner Gwen Verdon, will dance onto TV screens April 9.
Their romance, told in the FX miniseries “Fosse/Verdon,” is the stuff of Broadway legend. Verdon was the most celebrated dancer of her time, winning four Tony Awards in six years, and Fosse helped her win them — shaping her performances in productions such as “Damn Yankees” and “Sweet Charity.” They married in 1960 and had a daughter, Nicole, born in 1963.
“Fosse/Verdon” boasts Oscar winner Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) — also nominated for 2018’s “Vice” — as Fosse and four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams as Verdon. As “Fosse/Verdon” opens, Fosse is looking for a job but he’s a tough sell in Hollywood. His 1969 film “Sweet Charity,” starring Shirley MacLaine in the role Verdon created on Broadway, was a $20 million flop, a dated curio in the year of groundbreaking films (“Easy Rider” and Best Picture Oscar winner “Midnight Cowboy”). Fosse wants to direct the big-screen version of “Cabaret” so badly he circumvents executive producer Cy Feuer (Paul Reiser, who’s unrecognizable) and petitions the head of the studio. He gets the job.
Left alone in Munich, where the film was partly produced, Fosse puts his special touches on the film — firing the actors hired as extras and finding their replacements in a German brothel — much to the consternation of Feuer, who arrives to supervise him and wonders why the set is so dark. “Uh…we’re supposed to be in a nightclub,” says Fosse.
Fearing another fiasco, Feuer turns to Verdon, who suggests that audiences don’t want escapist musicals anymore: “They want to see something true.”