Fosse/Verdon Review – It’s Showtime on FX!

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Fosse/Verdon review — Life was not always a cabaret for Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, but their tango makes for great television.

Fosse/Verdon reviewIn an eight-episode miniseries spanning five decades, Fosse/Verdon explores the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams). He is a visionary filmmaker and one of the theater’s most influential choreographers and directors. She is the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. As muses to one another, and as husband and wife, they attain fame but not true happiness.

FX gave us a sneak peek at the first several episodes of Fosse/Verdon, and the first striking thing about it is its excellent, inspired casting. Rockwell and Williams not only have believable chemistry but they embody their characters beautifully (if not perfectly; Rockwell’s Fosse is rather relaxed, whereas the real McCoy was notoriously tense).

Even viewers who are not familiar with the work of the dancers should be swept up in the couple’s legendary creativity and their famously tempestuous relationship. The presentation of the story is alive and dynamic as it switches back and forth in time, giving us an intriguing montage of their checkered pasts as teases at what’s yet to come flit in and out of the milieu. The editing and cinematography are top-notch.

In the first two episodes, we see the couple working together on the film version of Sweet Charity. Verdon starred in the Broadway smash but Shirley MacLaine was cast to go before the cameras, leaving the aging original to watch on the sidelines. When it came time to make Cabaret, up-and-comer Liza Minelli got top billing.

Still, we see how Bob deferred to Gwen, consulted her, and regarded her highly… when it came to their professional life. As a husband, he was not quite so faithful.

In addition to the drama, we get a glimpse into the exacting, genius process that went into creating iconic numbers like “Big Spender” and “Cabaret”.

Featuring fancy footwork, including original numbers as well as some of the most exemplary works of Bob and Gwen’s careers, Fosse/Verdon evenhandedly tells the entire tale of these two brilliant, complicated individuals for the first time. There was a semi-autobiographical film about (and directed by) Fosse called All That Jazz, but that came out 40 years ago. It’s about time the world gets reacquainted with these unparalleled icons – and eight-episode miniseries is a great way to do it.

Does this Fosse/Verdon review make you want to put on your boogie shoes and binge-watch? The series premieres on FX on April 9, 2019.

Fosse/Verdon review — Life was not always a cabaret for Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, but their tango makes for great television.

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on

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