As I've mentioned here, I'm not a huge fan of The Dance, though that holds more for Big Production Numbers. This video here is one of the dance exceptions, for a few reasons. First, it's made up of short clips, rather than one long number. Second, the clips are all tremendous. And third is the history. Bob Fosse was one of the legendary choreographer directors, winning eight Tony Awards for such shows as Damn Yankees, Sweet Charity and The Pajama Game, and famously became the only person to win Best Director Oscar, Tony and Emmy in the same year (1973) for Cabaret, Pippin, and Liza with a Z. And directed such films as the semi-autobiographical All that Jazz and Lenny. But before all that, he was a dancer -- and this video shows just how good he was at that, as well.
What's interesting, too, is that it's narrated by Gwen Verdon, his wife -- though divorced, but they stayed close.
At the 2:45 mark there's one of the longest clips, a wonderful dance with Tommy Rall from a film called, My Sister Eileen. The show has an interesting history. The short story and subsequent play is basis for the hit musical, Wonderful Town, with a score by Leonard Bernstein and Comden & Green. But for a long, convoluted reason, that show isn't this. Columbia Studios had made a film of My Sister Eileen and tried to get the rights to Wonderful Town, but they were too expensive. However, the studio had the rights to the film, so they came up with their own brand new film story (written by director Richard Quine and...Blake Edwards), and had a totally new score written by another Broadway legend, Jule Styne, with lyrics by Leo Robin (who together had previously written Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.) The film isn't distinguished, but has a lot of very enjoyable things in it. And Bob Fosse did the choreography, as well as performed in this scene.
Also, following this number in the video is a dance between Fosse and Gwen Verdon.
So, all in all, even for someone who's not the biggest fan of dancing, this has a lot of fun to offer for it.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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