There's a Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon TV Series In the Works—With the Team Behind Hamilton at the Helm
The news that Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andy Blankenbuehler and Thomas Kail are working together on a new project is almost too wonderful to handle. But the creative team behind Hamilton isn't reuniting for just any old thing: They're teaming up for a dance-centric television series about Broadway legends Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and we cannot contain our excitement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, FX has given the green light to an eight-episode limited series that will focus on the romantic and creative relationship between Fosse and Verdon, and how it transformed musical theater. Miranda is attached as an executive producer alongside Nicole Fosse (the subjects' daughter and an actress and dancer in her own right); Blankenbuehler is a co-producer (and, we hope, will be on hand for the dance sequences); Kail is slated to direct the pilot episode (written by Steven Levensen, who you might recognize from 2017 Tony Awards juggernaut Dear Evan Hansen). Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell are set to star.
Andy Blankenbuehler performed on Broadway in Fosse before becoming the Great White Way's go-to choreographer. Photo by Rachel Papo
"Bob Fosse ignited a revolution in American dance, theater and film. But, in contrast to the well-worn myth of the visionary artist working in solitude, Fosse's work would not have been possible without Gwen Verdon, the woman who helped to mold his style—and make him a star," said Miranda, Blankenbuehler and Kail in a joint statement.
Calling this a dream team is no overstatement—Blankenbuehler spent a couple of years performing in Fosse on Broadway, and if anyone has a handle on Bob Fosse's iconic, idiosyncratic style, it's got to be Nicole Fosse.
Production is scheduled to begin this fall, as FX is aiming for a 2019 release—keep your eyes peeled for casting notices!
Lin-Manuel Miranda at work. Photo by RadicalMedia. Courtesy PBS
And in other "Lin-Manuel Miranda has zero chill" news...well, there's a lot of it.
This morning, it was announced that the creators of Hamilton—Miranda, Blankenbuehler, Kail and music director Alex Lacamoire—are getting a special Kennedy Center Honor "as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category." No big deal.
It was also recently announced that Miranda will be making his directorial debut with a film adaptation of Tick, Tick...Boom!, a musical by Jonathan Larson (of RENT fame) in which Miranda starred opposite
Aaron Burr Leslie Odom, Jr. in 2014 for a New York City Center Encores! production. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that bidding is underway for the rights to a filming of Hamilton made in 2016, before Miranda left the titular role, and might be on screens as early as 2020. (And we didn't even mention that Miranda is publishing a book of his famed good morning/goodnight tweets, or his announcement that the proceeds from the upcoming Puerto Rico Hamilton performances will be donated to arts organizations in the territory, or this fantastic interview he gave "TODAY," or his latest Emmy nomination, or...)
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- Bob Fosse | Biography, Musicals, Movies, & Facts | Britannica.com ›
- FX Orders Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon Limited Series Starring Michelle ... ›
- Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) | Twitter ›
- FX Orders Bob Fosse Series Starring Sam Rockwell, Michelle ... ›
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michelle Williams, Sam Rockwell Team for Bob ... ›
- Every project Lin-Manuel Miranda currently has in the works | EW.com ›
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.
You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)
Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of: