GREAT PERFORMANCES: DANCE IN AMERICA: BOB FOSSE: STEAM HEAT (TV)

Summary

One in this dance series presented under the umbrella of "Great Performances." This program examines the distinctive work of dancer/choreographer/director Bob Fosse (1927-1987) through clips of interviews with Fosse and his wife, dancer Gwen Verdon, as well as excerpts from his films and his television and stage appearances. In excerpts from a memorial service for Fosse, held at the Palace Theatre in New York on October 30, 1987, various speakers talk about his work and share insight into his personality. Speakers include actor Roy Scheider and writers Peter Stone, Neil Simon, Steve Tesich, Herb Gardner, and E. L. Doctorow. The documentary chronicles Fosse's childhood, his start as a dancer and choreographer, the evolution of the distinctive "Fosse style," performers who influenced his work, and the sources of his inspiration. In separate interviews, Fosse and Verdon discuss his colleagues and some of his shows; how dancer Fred Astaire influenced his work; the differences between his work on stage and film; dealing with rejection; his open-heart surgery and various addictions; and his relationships with his former wives. Also included is a brief interview clip with Fosse's daughter, Nicole. Television performance clips include Fosse and Verdon on "The Garry Moore Show" with "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man" (1962); early work dancing with first wife, Mary Ann Niles, on "Your Hit Parade," "We the People," and "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" (1950), "The Morey Amsterdam Show" (1949), and "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1951); and his appearance on "Cavalcade of Stars" (1954). Film clips include "The Affairs of Dobie Gillis" (1953); "Give a Girl a Break" with Fosse and Debbie Reynolds (1953); "Kiss Me Kate" with Fosse and Carol Haney (1953); the alley dance with Tommy Rall from "My Sister Eileen" (1955); and "Pajama Game" with Buzz Miller, Carol Haney, and Kenneth LeRoy performing "Steam Heat" (1957). Other highlights include excerpts from two versions of "Damn Yankees" -- the stage version performed on "The Colgate Variety Hour" (1955) and the film version (1958), including a dance with Verdon; the stage version of "Sweet Charity" performed by Gwen Verdon on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1966), and the film version (1969) with Chita Rivera, Shirley MacLaine, and Paula Kelly; "Cabaret" with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey (1972); the 1972 commercial for "Pippin," with dancers Candace Brown, Ben Vereen, and Pamela Sousa; "Liza With a Z"; Dustin Hoffman in "Lenny"; Fosse as the snake in "The Little Prince" (1974), and in Gardner's film "Thieves" (1977); a commercial for "Bob Fosse's Dancin'"; scenes from the film "Star 80" with Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, Cliff Robertson, and others; and a dance number from his final show, "Big Deal," at the 1986 Tony Awards. Also included are clips of Fosse receiving awards for Best Director and Best Choreographer at several award ceremonies (1973 and 1987); Dan Rather reporting on Fosse's death on the "CBS Evening News" (Sept. 24, 1987); and Fosse on the set of "All That Jazz."

Details

  • NETWORK: PBS WNET New York, NY
  • DATE: February 23, 1990 Friday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:53
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:28208
  • GENRE: Arts documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV series, 1976-
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Jac Venza … Executive Producer
    • Judy Kinberg … Producer, Director
    • Margaret Selby … Associate Producer
    • Henry, William A., III … Writer
    • Marianne Bower … Researcher, Photo and film research
    • Daniel Anker … Researcher, Film research
    • Fred Astaire
    • Candace Brown
    • Diahann Carroll
    • E. L. Doctorow
    • Sandy Duncan
    • Erzsebet Foldi
    • Bob Fosse
    • Nicole Fosse
    • Herb Gardner
    • Joel Grey
    • Carol Haney
    • Mariel Hemingway
    • Dustin Hoffman
    • Paula Kelly
    • Kenneth LeRoy
    • Shirley MacLaine
    • Buzz Miller
    • Liza Minnelli
    • Mary Ann Niles
    • Tommy Rall
    • Dan Rather
    • Ann Reinking
    • Debbie Reynolds
    • Chita Rivera
    • Eric Roberts
    • Cliff Robertson
    • Roy Scheider
    • Neil Simon
    • Pamela Sousa
    • Peter Stone
    • Steve Tesich
    • Gwen Verdon
    • Ben Vereen