Fosse/Verdon is an American biographical miniseries starring Sam Rockwell as director–choreographer Bob Fosse, and Michelle Williams as actress and dancer Gwen Verdon. The series, which tells the story of the couple's troubled personal and professional relationship, is based on the biography Fosse by Sam Wasson. Norbert Leo Butz and Margaret Qualley also feature as Paddy Chayefsky and Ann Reinking, respectively. It premiered in eight parts on April 9, 2019, on FX.
by Sam Wasson
|Theme music composer||Alex Lacamoire|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||41–59 minutes|
|Original release||April 9 –|
May 28, 2019
Fosse/Verdon tells the story of "the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a filmmaker and one of theater's most influential choreographers and directors; she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. Together, they changed the face of American entertainment — at a perilous cost."
The story of the entire series unfolds through back and forth flashes of the couple's relationship through the years. It includes the reversals of power and status as well as the contexts that let it all happen. In addition, it also presents Fosse and Verdon's contribution to the entertainment industry despite their personal problems.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse
- Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon
- Norbert Leo Butz as Paddy Chayefsky, playwright, Bob's friend
- Margaret Qualley as Ann Reinking, actress-dancer
- Aya Cash as Joan Simon, Neil's first wife
- Evan Handler as Hal Prince, director
- Nate Corddry as Neil Simon, playwright, Bob's friend
- Susan Misner as Joan McCracken, Bob's second wife
- Paul Reiser as Cy Feuer, producer
- Blake Baumgartner and Juliet Brett as Nicole Fosse
- Jake Lacy as Ron, Gwen's lover
- Kelli Barrett as Liza Minnelli, actress
- Bianca Marroquín as Chita Rivera, actress
- Ethan Slater as Joel Grey, actor
- Rick Holmes as Fred Weaver, Bob's first manager
- Peter Scolari as Mel, Gwen's manager
- Christiane Seidel as Hannah, German interpreter
- Byron Jennings as George Abbott, director
- Laura Osnes as Shirley MacLaine, actress
- Brandon Uranowitz as Dustin Hoffman, actor
- Tyler Hanes as Jerry Orbach, actor
- Wayne Wilcox as Michael Kidd, choreographer
- Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Leland Palmer, actress
- Santino Fontana as James Henaghan, Gwen's first husband
- Emily Dorsch as Gertrude Verdon, Gwen's mother
- Christopher Tocco as Jack Cole, choreographer
- Kelcy Griffin as Debbie Allen, actress
- Pamela Mitchell as Marsha Mason, actress
- Rema Webb as Paula Kelly, actress
- Justin Gazzillo as Young Bobby, 13 year old Bob
- Spencer Moss as Mary Ann Fosse, Bob’s sister
- David Turner as Ray Walston, actor
- George Bamford as Robert Surtees, cinematographer
- George R. Sheffey as David Bretherton, editor
- Jimmy Brewer as Stephen Schwartz, songwriter
- Tim Young as John Rubinstein, actor
- Peggy J. Scott as Irene Ryan, actress
- Sean Patrick Doyle as Michael O'Haughey, actor
- Ryan Vandenboom as Eddie Phillips, choreographer
- Anthony Rosenthal as Charlie Grass, choreographer
- Nicholas Baroudi as Scott Brady, actor
- Jeremy Shamos as Joseph Hardy, director
- Ahmad Simmons as Ben Vereen, actor
- Lin-Manuel Miranda as Roy Scheider, actor
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Life Is a Cabaret"||Thomas Kail||Story by : Steven Levenson & Thomas Kail |
Teleplay by : Steven Levenson
|April 9, 2019||1BHR01||0.614|
|Following the commercial failure of his filmmaking debut, Sweet Charity, Broadway director-choreographer Bob Fosse is determined to make his next directorial project, Cabaret, a success, even if it means defying producer Cy Feuer and cheating on his wife and creative collaborator, actress-dancer Gwen Verdon.|
|2||"Who's Got the Pain?"||Thomas Kail||Steven Levenson||April 16, 2019||1BHR02||0.425|
|As Gwen and Bob's marriage deteriorates following the discovery of his latest extramarital affair, Gwen reflects on how they first met during pre-production for Damn Yankees as well as how their personal and professional relationship began at the cost of Bob's marriage to ailing Broadway star Joan McCracken.|
|3||"Me and My Baby"||Adam Bernstein||Debora Cahn||April 23, 2019||1BHR03||0.453|
|With Bob focused on editing Cabaret, Gwen auditions for the leading role in a straight play that forces her to reflect on her disastrous first marriage and a career change that led to her breakthrough performance in Can-Can.|
|4||"Glory"||Jessica Yu||Tracey Scott Wilson||April 30, 2019||1BHR04||0.429|
|As Gwen struggles with her personal life following the opening (and closing) performance of Children! Children!, Bob juggles dealing with the success of Cabaret, spearheading production on Liza with a Z and Pippin, and grappling with the price of fame.|
|5||"Where Am I Going?"||Thomas Kail||Charlotte Stoudt||May 7, 2019||1BHR05||0.312|
|Three months after Joan Simon's death, and after Bob's stay in psychiatric care, tensions rise during a rainy night in Bob's Southhampton summer home among his guests, including Gwen, Neil Simon, Paddy Chayefsky, and Ann Reinking.|
|6||"All I Care About Is Love"||Minkie Spiro||Ike Holter||May 14, 2019||1BHR06||0.364|
|An overworked Bob suffers a heart attack while balancing the editing of Lenny and the rehearsals for Chicago. In the hospital, he remembers the sexual abuse he endured as a teenager.|
|7||"Nowadays"||Thomas Kail||Joel Fields & Steven Levenson||May 21, 2019||1BHR07||0.367|
|Gwen and Bob continue work on Chicago, which Bob keeps pulling in a darker direction. The show opens to middling reviews. Later in the run, Gwen gets a vocal infection, and Bob gets Liza Minnelli to go on for her in her absence.|
|8||"Providence"||Thomas Kail||Story by : Joel Fields & Steven Levenson |
Teleplay by : Steven Levenson
|May 28, 2019||1BHR08||0.495|
|The final years of Bob's life are portrayed, from filming All That Jazz through directing and choreographing the revival of Sweet Charity, up to the final moment where he has a heart attack in D.C. and collapses in Gwen's arms.|
Fosse/Verdon released weekly albums, available for streaming and download on multiple platforms, with the release of each new episode. In addition to original music, the soundtracks feature the cast singing popular songs from Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon's various careers, including "Big Spender" from Sweet Charity and "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin.
|Episode 1 ("Life is a Cabaret")|
|1.||"Big Spender"||Bianca Marroquin, Rema Webb & The Fandango Girls||3:34|
|3.||"Fosse/Verdon Theme"||Alex Lacamoire||1:01|
|Episode 2 ("Who's Got the Pain?")|
|1.||"Heart"||PJ Benjamin, Nick Blaemire, Brian Cali & Aaron Kaburick||3:00|
|Episode 3 ("Me and My Baby")|
|1.||"Mein Herr"||Kelli Barrett & The Kit Kat Girls||3:17|
|2.||"Two Ladies"||Ethan Slater, Alysha Umphress & Morgan Weed||2:14|
|Episode 4 ("Glory")|
|1.||"Corner of the Sky"||Tim Young||3:17|
|2.||"I Guess I'll Miss the Man"||Blake Baumgartner||2:09|
|Episode 5 ("Where Am I Going?")|
|1.||"Pas De Deux"||Nathan Barr||1:35|
|2.||"Where Am I Going?"||Alex Lacamoire||1:52|
|Episode 6 ("All I Care About Is Love")|
|1.||"All That Jazz"||Bianca Marroquin||2:52|
|Episode 7 ("Nowadays")|
|1.||"We Both Reached For The Gun"||Tyler Hanes, Sean Patrick Doyle & The Cast of Fosse/Verdon||3:45|
|2.||"Razzle Dazzle"||Michelle Williams & The Cast of Fosse Verdon||2:13|
|Episode 8 ("Providence")|
|1.||"Mr. Bojangles"||Lin-Manuel Miranda||4:14|
The rights to produce a limited-series based on Sam Wasson's biography Fosse were sold to FX Network by executive producer George Stelzner. In the summer of 2016, with the approval of FX creative executives, Stelzner pursued actor/writer Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Thomas Kail, of Hamilton, to join the project. Both Miranda and Kail were familiar with the Wasson biography as Miranda and Wasson were classmates at Wesleyan University years earlier. Tony Award-winning writer Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen) was next to join the production team. Levenson and Kail would go on to earn the WGA credit designation of "developed for television by" for the limited-series. During the early stages of the development process, Kail and Levenson were instrumental in attracting the participation of Nicole Fosse, the only child of Bob and Gwen and the executor of the Fosse/Verdon estate. On July 5, 2018, FX announced an eight-episode order for a limited-series entitled Fosse/Verdon, with Sam Rockwell playing the role of Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams playing the role of Gwen Verdon. On October 25, 2018, it was reported that Kail would direct at least four of the series' eight episodes. and he would go on to direct a total of five episodes. Executive producers included Levenson, Kail, Miranda, Stelzner, Rockwell and Williams, with Nicole Fosse as a co-executive producer, and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) as co-producer. On October 26, 2018, it was announced that Joel Fields, the showrunner of the acclaimed FX Network drama series The Americans would joined the Fosse/Verdon production as an additional writer and executive producer. On January 23, 2019, the premiere date of April 9, 2019 was announced.
Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Rockwell and Williams had been cast in the lead roles. On November 19, 2018, it was announced Margaret Qualley and Norbert Leo Butz had been cast in series regular roles and that Aya Cash, Nate Corddry, Susan Misner, Bianca Marroquín, Kelli Barrett, Evan Handler, Rick Holmes, Paul Reiser, Ethan Slater, Byron Jennings, and Laura Osnes had joined the cast in a recurring capacity.
On January 6, 2019, a teaser trailer for the series was released.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 81% based on 75 reviews, and an average rating of 7.12/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams give viewers plenty of razzle and dazzle in Fosse/Verdon -- a straightforward miniseries that is hampered by rote biographical tropes, but still shimmies with the requisite glitz, grit, and all that jazz audiences crave." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 68 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|1||"Life Is a Cabaret"||April 9, 2019||0.1||0.614||0.2||0.729||0.3||1.344|
|2||"Who's Got the Pain?"||April 16, 2019||0.1||0.425||N/A||0.597||N/A||1.023|
|3||"Me and My Baby"||April 23, 2019||0.1||0.453||N/A||0.505||N/A||0.959|
|4||"Glory"||April 30, 2019||0.1||0.429||N/A||0.480||N/A||0.910|
|5||"Where Am I Going?"||May 7, 2019||0.1||0.312||N/A||0.565||N/A||0.878|
|6||"All I Care About Is Love"||May 14, 2019||0.1||0.364||N/A||0.442||N/A||0.806|
|7||"Nowadays"||May 21, 2019||0.1||0.367||N/A||0.492||N/A||0.859|
|8||"Providence"||May 28, 2019||0.1||0.495||N/A||0.497||N/A||0.992|
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