Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Along with all of my other recent obsessions, I've been enjoying all things Bob Fosse. Fosse was an entertainment renaissance man who acted, danced, directed, won eight Tony awards for choreography, and one Academy Award for directing Cabaret. I am not a lover of musicals, but, my goodness, Bob Fosse musicals are an entirely different animal.

Fosse could take the most simple, focused motion and just make it the most sensual twitch ever seen. The emotion and passion he had for movement is visible in every single number he ever directed or choreographed.

If you want a Fosse fix, I can recommend two movies for you. Cabaret is the Liza Minelli and Joel Grey masterpiece, taken from the Broadway show which was adapted from the Christopher Isherwood stories. It captures the pre-World War II decadence of Berlin, Germany, and is still so fresh that it looks like it could have been released this year. Liza is just amazing in the movie. I so wanted to go out and buy bushels of false eyelashes after rewatching it a couple of weeks ago. My favorite number in the show is "Mein Herr," and it is all Fosse.

The second movie I would recommend is the autobiographical All That Jazz, with Roy Schieder in the Fosse role, and a gigantic cast with all sorts of stars. It's an amazing, exhausting film. Honestly, I would have cut about half an hour out of it, because the ending seems to go on and on and on. It's worth it for the musical opening to George Benson's "On Broadway," the choreography for "Take Off with Us" and the joy of "Everything Old Is New Again." Plus, Schieder is genius.

And, if you're just in the mood for flat out silliness, check out this Youtube video. Do not have liquids in your mouth when doing this!

Jazz hands!

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