"Great Performances: Dance in America" From Broadway: Fosse (TV Episode 2001) Poster

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Great but lacking the verve of the originals
Kenneth Anderson7 August 2004
Like everybody, I too found "Fosse" to be a really amazing evening of dance. I loved it on stage and the DVD is as perfect and complete a collection of Bob Fosse's choreography as one is likely to get. His creativity is greatly missed and a collection of his works such as this is a terrific legacy.

Since everybody agrees with Fosse's brilliance, let me voice two minor complaints about the DVD.

One: What's up with Ben Vereen? I know the show is something of a triumph after his accident, but was it necessary for the director to allow him to be so sloppy? In lieu of precision or even aptitude, he takes a clue from the song "Razzle Dazzle" and hams his routines up with crowd pleasing schtick and non-stop jabbering.

Two: I invite anybody who really loved the numbers in this show to rent the movies "Sweet Charity" "The Pajama Game" and "Cabaret" and then tell me if the dancers in those films kind of make the "Fosse" dancers look like they are giving us the "matinee" version.

Realistically, a movie is shot over months and the numbers can be redone to perfection. A stage show is an exhausting 2 hours plus. Still, the Rich Man's Frug and Steam Heat numbers in "Fosse" look like they are in slow motion.

The problem is I'm old enough to have seen almost all of these numbers in their original incarnations (Liza minnelli's "I Gotcha" and Gwen Verdon's "Hot Honey Rag" remain standouts in my memory) and so like an old curmudgeon, I can't help but find the modern incarnations lacking.

There... now, can we talk about Ann Reinking's Morticia look?
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Concentrated Genius!
FrSallyBowles19 January 2004
This is an amazing show- a treat for those of us who live isolated from Broadway. 'Fosse' in an affectionate and lively tribute to the great choreographer and director that presents an irrefutable argument for his genius. Working with many of his original collaborators we see restagings of classic moments from Fosse's stage and film work including the most popular and well known works like Cabaret, Chicago and Sweet Charity. The stage show translates to DVD extremely well, itself tribute to Fosse's attention to detail. The raunchier aspects of Fosse's work sit beside moments of subtle emotion and we are treated to an incredible selection of Broadway show-stoppers. Fosse veterans Anne Reinking [who also directs] and Ben Vereen dominate the screen but ultimately it is Fosse's ghost that steals the show. A compact history of some of the best Broadway singing and dancing of the late twentieth century and sure to impress even the most jaded viewer.
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A Dazzling Tribute to a Broadway/Movie Genius
ijonesiii26 January 2006
The 1999 Tony Award winner for Best Musical came to television brilliantly intact in 2001 with the most of the original cast and a couple of sterling star turns. This bold and brassy tribute to arguably Broadway's greatest director/choreographer, Bob Fosse, this musical, directed and choreographed by Fosse mentor and girlfriend Ann Reinking, lovingly recreates some of the most classic Fosse routines that we Fosse fans have come to adore and revel in over the years. The TV version features Ben Vereen and Reinking on stage as well as some of Fosse's best known (and least known) work comes vividly to life again. Honestly, there are moments where you miss the original performers of these numbers, but this young and nubile cast is willing and energetic and give these classic routines fresh life. For me, the highlights were "Big Spender" from SWEET CHARITY (featuring Reinking), "I Wanna Be a Dancin Man" from DANCIN, "Steam Heat" from THE PAJAMA GAME, "Rich Man's Frug", also from CHARITY, "Nowadays" from CHICAGO, and two numbers from the 1973 TV special LIZA WITH A Z: "Bye bye Blackbird" and "I Gotcha". Just about all of Fosse's work is touched on here, with the possible exception of HOW TO Succeed IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, but it is a monumental mounting of Fosse's best work and if you're a fan of the dance in general and of Fosse in particular, this is a must.
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A real gem
Harry Carasso4 February 2004
Led by veteran Ben Vereen, BOB FOSSE was scheduled in Paris just after the stage rendition of Jacques Demy's LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT which did not met the expectations. But the Paris musical buffs gave a triumph to the Broadway show; it was not usual in the history of the Théâtre du Chatelet to offer isolated seats only, even for very advanced bookings. I watched for two full hours 17 extraordinary performers, who could sing, act, dance and give the impression that they really enjoyed to do it. The change in the settings was extremely precise and the sophisticated lightings brought an atmosphere of irreality which addded value to the show, if that was still possible. But the great surprise was the finale, with an extended rendition of the immortal Louis Prima's SING, SING, SING, after Ben Vereen sang two standards with curtain down, allowing the invisible personnel to build up an entirely new set for the small jazz band which came up on the screen, leaving the orchestra pit to the conductor and three synthetizers... Only a trombone solo was added to the original standard, as it was played at the Carnegie Hall in 1937. This association with Benny Goodman brought a standing ovation from a public of connoissseurs, totally absent from any anti-American feeling. It was an evening to remember, and I can only pity the few pissed-up reviewers pretending that the ensemble could be a "casting de tournée". They remind me of the snobs who are unable to see the perfection when watching the Joconde at the Louvre. harry carasso Paris, France
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Amazing dancing
midnightloner21 September 2003
When I first heard of 'Fosse' I barely knew what it was. There was a connection between the show and a horde of arrogant customers at the coffee shop down the street from where it was showing. (Philadelphia at the time.) So because of those damn people, I hated the show.

Now, I wish those people never existed because I would've have probably died and gone to heaven if I had seen the show. It's amazing. He was a choreographic genius. There should be a plaque in his honor. :)
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