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Entries in Gwen Verdon (4)

Friday
May312019

Fosse/Verdon - Finale!

by Eric Blume

Michelle & Sam as Gwen & Bobby

Fosse/Verdon wrapped its 8-episode run this Tuesday, and here’s a quick recap on the final three episodes, and some overall thoughts on this captivating mini-series.

Episode Six, “All I Care About is Love” 
Episode six concerned Fosse’s heart attack during the editing of Lenny (1974) editing and rehearsals for Chicago on Broadway.  It was one of the weaker episodes of the series, especially coming off the previous episode, the almost-staged-play episode with the characters locked in a Hamptons house, arguably the show’s high-water mark.  That episode gave director Thomas Kail (who went from Hamilton to TV with graceful ease) the opportunity to put in the nails early on and keep screwing tightly, with all the actors laser-focused on their objectives and obstacles.  Episode Six, on the other hand, contained some material handled directly in All That Jazz, and it felt more like a transitional episode for the final narrative haul of the show...

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Saturday
Apr202019

Fosse/Verdon - EP 2: "Who's Got the Pain?"

Previously Ep 1 - "Life is a Cabaret"

No, no, I know who he is. The one with the hats.

by Nathaniel R

The premiere episode of Fosse/Verdon took place (mostly) in 1971 when Fosse was rehearsing Cabaret but linear storytelling isnt remotely 'on trend' in TV miniseries right now, so we're hopping backward for Episode 2 to 1955 when Gwen Verdon was flush from her breakout Tony-winning turn in "Can-Can" and cast in "Damn Yankees". At a lunch meeting Hal Prince (Evan Handler) tries to sell Broadway it girl Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams) on his choice of choreographer. Gwen isn't sold, wiggling her hand dismissively for Fosse's most famous recurring choreographic accessory, the hat. It's but one of many fine gestural moments from a truly inspired Michelle Williams. Though it's too soon to know, she may well be giving us the performance of her career...

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Tuesday
Apr092019

Fosse/Verdon - EP 1: "Life is a Cabaret"

by Chris Feil

FX’s Fosse/Verdon begins with two intriguingly quiet moments for a series founded in musical theatre. First, an older Bob Fosse waits alone in a hotel room, and someone comes knocking. Then we flash back to the genius working in tandem with his wife and partner Gwen Verdon, perfecting a piece of choreography in his iconic style. Gwen offers a slight adjustment to his angular positioning, and they proceed. “Yours is better,” he says decisively. This kind of personal and creative symbiosis, which has made the two depicted here into the stuff of Broadway hallowed history, is sadly only fleeting in the premiere of this new limited series.

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Thursday
Jun142018

Months of Meryl: Marvin's Room (1996)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

#24 —Lee, a frazzled single mom and aspiring hairdresser who reunites with her ailing sister.

JOHN: Marvin’s Room begins with a slow outward zoom of assorted pill bottles and other medical paraphernalia scored to whimsically upbeat music that immediately establishes the film’s split personality between dysfunctional family comedy and sentimental illness drama. We soon learn that the titular Marvin is the bedridden and near-death father of Bessie (Diane Keaton) and brother of Ruth (Gwen Verdon), three members of a looney Floridian family. No sooner than Marvin’s illness and medical routine is introduced, Bessie is herself diagnosed with leukemia by Dr. Robert De Niro (who also produced the film). He recommends that Bessie's family members be tested for a possible bone marrow transplant. This diagnosis is the film’s engine, reuniting her with her sister Lee (Meryl Streep) and nephews Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Charlie (Hal Scardino), bridging a twenty year gap between this estranged family...

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