Flexible Fosse Loses Reinking After April 27; Bebe Continues in Adjusted Show

News   Flexible Fosse Loses Reinking After April 27; Bebe Continues in Adjusted Show Ann Reinking's spring residency in Broadway's Fosse ends April 27, when she dances out of the hit revue co-starring Bebe Neuwirth at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Ann Reinking's spring residency in Broadway's Fosse ends April 27, when she dances out of the hit revue co-starring Bebe Neuwirth at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Reinking joined the company and show she helped create — as co-conceiver, co-director and co-choreographer — on March 2, during a period when Ben Vereen was already guest-headlining the retrospective of the dances of director-choreographer Bob Fosse. Vereen exited April 1.

Beginning April 28, Neuwirth is the solo star name in Fosse She continues to May 27, and Vereen returns on Memorial Day for a summer stint.

As if taking a cue from one of the show's songs, "There'll Be Some Changes Made," there have been adjustments to the Tony Award-winning show: After Scott Wise left the company earlier in spring, the "Shoeless Joe" baseball sequence was cut, which reflects the running order of the streamlined national tour. With due respect to the creators, observers had pointed to the baseball ballet from Damn Yankees as out of sync with the rest of the stylized show. No sequences were added, but during the casting of Vereen, Reinking and Neuwirth, songs and sections had been variously reassigned.

A number called "Walking the Cat" that featured Reinking, Neuwirth and Ken Alan will now feature just Neuwirth and Alan. After Vereen left, Eugene Fleming opened the show with "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" (taking over Vereen, who had taken the song previously sung by Stephanie Pope) and will continue to do so. The "Cool Hand Luke" section, originally a trio, was a duet with Reinking and Neuwirth. It becomes a trio again with Neuwirth as one-third of the whole April 28. Beginning April 28, Neuwirth will also perform "Mein Herr" (which Reinking handled) and "Bye Bye Blackbird" (now sung by Reinking) and continues sizzling in "Steam Heat."

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Reinking was originally announced to April 29, but is cutting out a few days ahead of schedule. Her next project is choreographing the new musical, The Visit, at the Goodman Theatre in September. Chita Rivera stars.

Bebe Neuwirth was originally announced for four weeks only, but the solo extension to May 27 followed. Neuwirth joined Fosse April 2.

 

Adding star names to the Best Musical Tony Award-winning ensemble show has kept audiences interested in Fosse. Reinking and Neuwirth starred together in the hit revival of the Chicago.

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Neuwirth, like Reinking, is a veteran of Fosse's work. She won a Tony Award in Fosse's Broadway revival of Sweet Charity (playing Nickie), and another for playing Velma Kelly in the smash revival of Chicago, choreographed by and co-starring Reinking, who created dances "in the style of Bob Fosse," the original director-choreographer of that show.

Neuwirth (widely known as Lilith on TV's "Cheers" and "Frasier") has returned to the still-running smash revival of Chicago several times since it began in 1996. She most recently appeared in it (next door, at the Shubert Theatre) in February and early March 2001.

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Dancer Reinking was a longtime favorite of director choreographer Bob Fosse, whose work the show celebrates. She appeared in featured roles is his popular revue, Dancin', and in his film, "All That Jazz." Reinking, linked personally and professionally to Fosse, co directed Fosse with Richard Maltby Jr.

Fosse opened Jan. 14, 1999, and won the Best Musical Tony Award in 1999. It marked the last Broadway musical that actress-dancer Gwen Verdon worked on. Verdon, Fosse's widow and dance collaborator from such shows as New Girl in Town, Redhead, Sweet Charity and Damn Yankees was Fosse's artistic advisor, working closely with pal Reinking.

Tickets are $35-$85. The Broadhurst is at 235 W. 44th Street. For ticket information, call (212) 582-1200.