Recreating the Fosse / Verdon Magic

FosseThe classiest thing presented so far at the TV Critics Association winter press tour is an eight-episode limited series on the relationship of choreographer and director Bob Fosse and his wife Gwen Verdon. “Fosse / Verdon,” which starts April 9 on FX is not only about a powerhouse figures from stage and screen of the 1960s, but it’s created by some contemporary theatrical powerhouses: The screenplay is by Steven Levenson, who wrote “Dear Evan Hansen” and it’s directed by Tommy Kail, the Tony winning director of “Hamilton,” whose Lin-Manuel Miranda is also an executive producer.

If Sam Rockwell doesn’t win an Emmy for his role, Michelle Williams, who bears an uncanny likeness to Verdon, certainly will.

But the two also had to learn some convincing and signature moves of the couple.

“I think we are pretty good movers,” Rockwell said, “but this is a whole other realm. As Michelle said one day, ‘You know, they look like normal people … “but they get up and dance, and they are superheroes.”

“I danced a little bit as a kid but not, like, really anything to write home about,” Williams says. “This is just, like the next level of degree of difficulty.”

One key part of the creative team was Nicole Fosse, the only daughter of the two, who is seen prominently as a character as a grade schooler in the series.

She sat with critics to watch a preview of the premiere episode this week (sitting next to her friend, a daughter of the late Neil Simon).

“I find it fascinating,” Fosse says, “Watching it now, as an adult, I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s what was going on. Now, I get it.’

So, it’s actually really refreshing and wonderful. Sometimes, a little exhausting, but it’s terrific.”

“Fosse / Verdon” also features Aya Cash, Nate Corddry, Evan Handler, Paul Reiser and Margaret Qualley as Ann Reinking.

 

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