Bob Fosse, the Dancing Man, a choreographic equivalent to Fosse's songbook revue Dancin', will be stepping off into a full-blown Toronto workshop July 29.
Gwen Verdon, who starred for (and, indeed, was married to) Fosse, is serving as artistic adviser for the production. Chet Martin is directing and choreographing--"however," postscripts Verdon, "everything has already been done by Bob so he's just re-recreating--with me--the original choreography.
"We'll see from the workshop what changes have to be made, and we'll make them. If we've put it together right, we'll go into production with it, hopefully tour it for a while and then come into New York with it.
The show will be the first dance-driven spectacle of its kind since Jerome Robbins' Broadway in 1989--a kind of a biography-in-choreography, tracking Fosse's footwork through the years, she says, "from nightclubs, television, different shows, dances that were cut, all kinds of stuff like that--the things we've put together. We took all of his sort of pseudo-Spanish stuff--the cha-cha, the mambo and all that--and we call it The Giant Mambo."
No name performers are attached to the show--"just 28 extraordinary dancers," says Verdon. "We've taken all these kids and trained them for two years. That fact alone makes the preproduction for Bob Fosse, the Dancing Man the longest and most expensive since the Tony-winning Robbins epic. It is being bankrolled by Garth Drabinsky, who is also preparing Ragtime for Broadway.