The 8 part series “Fosse/Verdon” on FX , takes us into the world of Broadway’s iconic couple: director/choreographer Bob Fosse and singer/actress/dancer, Gwen Verdon.
The project based on the biography “Fosse“ by Sam Wasson, who captures both the creative and personal turmoil that surrounded their partnership. In spite of infidelity, drug use and a massive ego, Gwen Verdon stayed loyal to the creative genius that was Bob Fosse. In fact, we find she was his muse and extremely responsible for many of his successful projects, including “Sweet Charity” and “Cabaret”, which won 8 Oscars, including Best Director for Fosse.
“Fosse/Verdon” shows us once again how exploitative the entertainment industry has been for women. Fosse is revealed as a predator who uses his power to coerce women into sexual trysts. His addiction to drugs, cigarettes and sex almost took his life in the 70’s when he had a massive heart attack.
This show is heavy on quick flashes to show the respective backstories of the duo before they met. Their talent and was evident-- even as young kids. It led them to New York in the 50’s and greatness, but not before their innocence was stripped away in the pursuit.
Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon is brilliant. This project shows once again the chameleon she is onscreen. We see how strong Verdon was—and at times, just as manipulative as Fosse. Sam Rockwell’s performance was fine (episode 6 was the highlight), but it’s Wiilliams that makes “Fosse/Verdon” worth watching. The creative team behind this series includes director Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda, both of another Broadway show-- “Hamilton”. The “behind the scenes” rehearsals they create for shows like “Chicago” are exceptional. If you’re a theater enthusiast, it’s another good reason to see this series.
-- Vera J. Brooks