Fosse/Verdon: Providence
May 28, 2019 9:00 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

All That Jazz - Bye Bye Life
posted by homunculus at 12:06 AM on May 29, 2019

Lin-Manuel Miranda's cameo was wonderful. As he explains, it's not a wink-wink cameo. He's great in it.
posted by BibiRose at 9:21 AM on May 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ha! I did not recognize him.
posted by homunculus at 9:54 AM on May 29, 2019

Ann Reinking on Her Life as Bob Fosse’s Muse, Lover, and Friend: Ann Reinking, whose relationship with Bob Fosse is depicted in the TV show “Fosse/Verdon,” enjoyed the two episodes she has seen, but she wishes that the series portrayed him more generously.
Fosse’s open-heart surgery deepened his depression. He was worried that it had compromised his virility. In one scene in “Fosse/Verdon,” Bob tests his fears by having Ann mount him on his hospital bed. Reinking hadn’t seen the episode, but said, “I heard that I’m in the hospital with Bob and we’re having intimate relations?” She let out a hoarse laugh. “That didn’t happen. At all. First of all, there’d be a nurse in the room in two seconds flat the moment his heart rate went up. He was under severe observation. He almost died. It was the last thing on his mind, or mine. He was just trying to get well.” I read aloud from page 402 of Wasson’s biography: “Having sex with Reinking, he wept with relief that impotence hadn’t set in. She had never seen him cry before.” “But that was later on,” she clarified. “It wasn’t in the hospital.” Besides, when he had the heart attack she was in a back brace, having fractured her vertebrae during a “gravity-defying” jitterbug in the Broadway show “Over Here!”
posted by homunculus at 9:57 AM on May 29, 2019

From Wikipedia's entry on Paddy Chayefsky's death:
Chayefsky died in New York City of cancer, for which he had declined surgery, in 1981, aged 58, and was interred in the Sharon Gardens Division of Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York. Bob Fosse performed a tap dance at the funeral, as part of a deal he and Chayefsky had made when Fosse was in the hospital for open-heart surgery. If Fosse died first, Chayefsky promised to deliver a tedious eulogy or Fosse would dance at Chayefsky's memorial if he was the one to die first. His personal papers are at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theatre Division.
posted by homunculus at 10:38 AM on May 29, 2019

Nicole Fosse on Her Father, Her Mother, and Herself
“There are times when Bob will act like a jerk in this, but I find him so charming that I get sucked into thinking, ‘Well, maybe he didn’t really mean it,” even though I knew him about as well as anybody, you know? And then the mature woman part of me steps in and says, ‘No, that’s not okay. That’s hurtful and harmful.’”
posted by homunculus at 11:02 AM on May 29, 2019

I'm so torn over this whole show. I love that it exists; it seems like such a niche appeal kind of show, I have been amazed ever since it was announced. I'm glad they didn't pull back on Fosse's awfulness, but that definitely meant I struggled to enjoy it. I think Sam and Michelle did a great job in their portrayals, but some of the directing has been leaden and the stylistic choices - especially the title cards - have been really jarring. I was, in particular, really annoyed that the end of their lives were shown as text on screen - especially Gwen, which was a long shot of a place we didn't really know, watching a grown up Nicole with kids we didn't know. And for all the fun that Lin Manuel must have had putting in references and in-jokes, his cameo was super distracting - as I don't think he looks anything like Roy Scheider. He does look like someone in Roy Scheider in All that Jazz cosplay, though.

There were sublime moments across the series and in this finale, too. But I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't already fully aware of these people and who get off on minor theatrical trivia, because I don't think it's a great show. Sigh.
posted by crossoverman at 2:58 PM on May 29, 2019

In spite of my comments in previous threads of how repellent I found Fosse generally, this finale got me all weepy, and has been popping up in my thoughts throughout the day. I'm just haunted by the intimacy of that death scene.

Crossoverman, I don't know that I'd agree with you about this being such a niche-audience show. I mean, before the first promos came out, I'd never realized Verdon and Fosse had been a couple. I've never seen "All That Jazz", and while I knew it was about Fosse, I'd somehow thought it was made about him posthumously, not by Fosse himself. I did learn a lot as I went along, from the recaps/interviews and these threads, so, I guess I can't entirely judge whether the miniseries works all by itself. But I can't imagine how someone could watch this and not at least be impressed by Michelle Williams, whether they know anything about Verdon or not.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:53 PM on May 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

As a whole, FOSSE/VERDON had a lot more ham and cheese than I usually ingest, and it tap dances right around the Bechdel Test ... but damn if Michelle Williams doesn't chew good scenery, and Sam Rockwell plays a deluded prick pretty well. The legit Broadway performers sprinkled throughout are a treat. Also, I would eat Jake Lacy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm sure I'll be easily convinced to rewatch this with friends who haven't caught up.
posted by mykescipark at 10:30 PM on May 29, 2019

I am an idiot who couldn't stop reading Wikipedia after the show, so I spoiled myself for Bob's dance at Paddy's funeral. Rockwell's performance of it was stunning. I'm squarely in the niche for this show's audience, but I loved it. I loved every bit of it.
posted by gladly at 5:37 PM on May 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that dance was a real moment.
posted by mykescipark at 6:57 PM on May 30, 2019

I finally caught up on this show, and it's just so fascinating. I don't think Rockwell had the power to carry off Fosse -- he was too heavy on jerk and too light on his briliiance and what made him compelling to all sorts of talented women. Michelle Williams was amazing from start to finish.

I'm especially intrigued by Nicole as an adult -- I can't imagine watching this version of your childhood and your parents on screen. She must have really figured things out to get here. (I am also curious about her older brother, who seems uninterested in being public at all.)

I am a fan of musicals and of Fosse and Verdon, and was before this, so it was squarely in my wheelhouse, but I don't think you need a deep knowledge of musical theatre to enjoy it.
posted by jeather at 5:01 AM on June 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

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