Bob Fosse's Dancin' Will Strut Into Studio 54 in 2009

News   Bob Fosse's Dancin' Will Strut Into Studio 54 in 2009 Roundabout Theatre Company will be above-the-title for a new 2009 Broadway production of Bob Fosse's Dancin', the kinetic revue of musical numbers created by the late master choreographer.
Bob Fosse
Bob Fosse

The Tony Award-nominated plotless show was a Broadway and touring hit starting in 1978. After the coming revival's limited run at Roundabout's Studio 54, which starts April 17, 2009, it will go on a national tour in fall 2009. The cast will be announced shortly.

Dancin', first billed as "a new musical entertainment," will be directed by Tony Award winner Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, Once on This Island) and will boast creative consultants Ann Reinking (a Tony-nominated featured star of the original Dancin') and Fosse's daughter Nicole Fosse. Opening at Studio 54 will be May 5, 2009.

The not-for-profit Roundabout is producing Dancin' in association with Greg Young, Elaine Krauss, Dancap Productions, and Richard Levi.

Choreography is credited to Bob Fosse (1927-1987), who won a Best Choreography Tony for the original production. His original choreography will be re-created by his career-long assistant and dancer Kathryn Doby. (The significance of Fosse and Doby's working relationship, as her bio points out, is apparent in his Academy Award-nominated film "All That Jazz." In it, Doby plays "Kathryn," assistant choreographer to Fosse's alter ego Joe Gideon, played by Roy Scheider.)

"This will be a limited engagement on Broadway," according to the March 20 announcement. "A national tour of Dancin' will open in the fall of 2009." The design team will include original design team members Peter Larkin (sets), Willa Kim (costumes) and Jules Fisher (lights and projections). Fisher won a Best Lighting Design Tony for Dancin'. Jonathan Deans will design sound.

According to Roundabout, Dancin' "is legendary director-choreographer Bob Fosse's classic tribute to the art of dance. This production marks its return to the stage for the first time in a generation. The essence of Fosse will take center stage in this loving recreation of his original production. Fosse was one of the greatest and most influential figures in dance and theatre history."

Fosse's stage directing or choreography credits include The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago, Redhead, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Pippin as well as TV specials and films such as "Cabaret," "Liza With a Z" and more. In 1987 he died of heart disease in Washington, DC, at the age of 60, while rehearsing a tour of his 20th-anniversary Sweet Charity revival.

Dancin' features an evening of dances set to an eclectic collection of hit songs and instrumentals ("Sing, Sing, Sing," "Here You Come Again," "Crunchy Granola," "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man," "Mr. Bojangles" and many more). Some of the pieces were re-created for the Broadway musical, Fosse, which surfaced after his death — and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

The original production of Dancin' played 1,774 performances and earned a Best Musical Tony nomination.

Dancin' will follow Roundabout's new production of Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, which plays Studio 54 starting in fall 2008.

Nicole Fosse is the daughter of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and decided to become a dancer at the age of 13. She received her dance training from The School of American Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Nanette Charisse and Milton Meyers.

Reinking is the actress, performer, director and choreographer who won the Tony Award for choreography for Chicago (1997) as well as the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle, Astaire, NY Drama Critics and the Olivier Awards. Other credits include director, co-choreographer for Fosse (1998 Tony Award, Best Musical). She was Tony-nommed for her leading performance in Dancin' and in Goodtime Charley. She's currently attached to Kander and Ebb's The Visit, being staged this spring by Frank Galati at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA.

Tickets for Dancin' will be available in early 2009 by phone at (212) 719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the Studio 54 box office, 254 West 54th Street.

The company of the original Broadway production of <i>Dancin'</i>.
The company of the original Broadway production of Dancin'. Photo by Martha Swope