In the ever-evolving landscape of television, miniseries have never been more popular. From this summer's scorching Sharp Objects to the mega-hit Big Little Lies—so successful it's getting a second season - Hollywood A-listers are flocking to star in the latest miniseries. The medium is catnip to a serious actor as it provides them the opportunity to explore a character over an arc of several episodes, as opposed to the confines of a standard feature-length film.
Fosse/Verdon is the latest enticing miniseries, based on the lives of Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse and dancer Gwen Verdon. It is an eight-episode series that will debut on FX. The cable channel is no stranger to behind-the-scenes depictions of the entertainment industry. Some of its most critically-acclaimed series include Feud and Pose. Fosse/Verdon premieres this Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Here is Everything We Know About Fosse/Verdon So Far.
8 A Turbulent Professional Relationship
Based on the biography Fosse by Sam Wasson, the series charts the highs and lows of its titular characters. Together, Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon were a creative duo that took Broadway by storm. The Great White Way had never seen choreography as innovative as Fosse's, nor dancing as masterful as Verdon's.
Their relationship was romantic as well as professional and the couple married. This was the third marriage for Fosse and it was not an easy one. Fosse had access to an endless supply of chorus girls and the series' teaser showcases a montage of unzipping dresses and lustful gazes. Fosse/Verdon appears to capture not just the glamour of the theater industry, but its sobering consequences as well.
7 Stars Sam Rockwell And Michelle Williams
It's difficult to imagine two actors with more impressive pedigrees. Rockwell has been a beloved character actor for years and has recently become an awards-season darling. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his dead-ringer portrayal of President George W. Bush in last year's Vice and the year before won that same award playing a racist cop in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. The man is so versatile, he could play a box of Cheerios and probably net a third Academy Award nomination. However, right now we're eager to see him light up our televisions as Bob Fosse.
For her part, Michelle Williams adds heartfelt gravitas to any role she takes. Mix that with her whimsy and you have the perfect cocktail for the portrayal of Gwen Verdon. Williams is no stranger to the soul of the tortured performer. She won a Golden Globe and earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn. Like her Fosse/Verdon co-star, Williams is no slouch in the awards department. Though she's never taken home the golden statue, Williams has been nominated for a total of four Academy Awards.
6 Fosse/Verdon Depicts A Bevy Of Broadway Heavyweights
Though the series' focus is on its title characters, that doesn't mean we won't see a parade of Broadway superstars. Notable depictions will include Liza Minelli (Kelli Barrett), Shirley MacLaine (Laura Osnes), Paddy Chayefsky (Norbert Leo Butz), and Hal Prince (Evan Handler).
Perhaps the most significant character, other than Fosse and Verdon of course, will be Ann Reinking (Margaret Qualley). She was romantically involved with Fosse after he saw her 1972 performance in Pippin. Her presence in Fosse/Verdon means that sparks, of both the romantic and spurned variety, are likely to fly.
5 Rockwell Was Intimidated By The Choreography
Anyone who saw him do the splits on The Tonight Show knows that Sam Rockwell is no stranger to the dance floor. He's shown off his smooth moves in a number of films and going into rehearsals for Fosse/Verdon, the actor was confident in his abilities. Rockwell told the New York Times, "...I went into this room and I tried to keep up, and it became apparent pretty fast that I am not a real dancer. And even though I have rhythm and I can move, picking up choreography like that is a different thing. Doing ballet, jazz, tap since you were 6 is different than what I do.”
Strenuous choreography isn't all Rockwell gave to the role. In fact, during this awards season, Rockwell was notably bald. The reason being he had to shave his head in order to properly wear his Bob Fosse hairpiece. Whether it's following in a legend's tap shoes or altering his appearance, Sam Rockwell knows how to commit to a role.
4 Fosse/Verdon Provided A Behind-The-Scenes Hamilton Reunion
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a jack of all trades and master of everything. Though he's best known for creating the Broadway smash-hit Hamilton, Miranda has starred in recent hit Mary Poppins Returns, hosted SNL, and was nominated for an Oscar. Now, with Fosse/Verdon, he can add TV executive producer to his staggeringly impressive resume.
He's not the only Hamilton alum associated with the miniseries. Hamilton director Thomas Kail is a fellow executive producer and serves as director for Fosse/Verdon's first two episodes. Renowned choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, who won a Tony for his work on Hamilton, is also a co-producer.
3 Showrunner Steven Levenson Has Serious Broadway Creds
There is an old writer's adage: "write what you know." Steven Levenson certainly took that advice to heart. Anyone helming a project about Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon ought to know a lot about Broadway. Levenson wrote the "book"—Broadway lingo for script—for Dear Evan Hansen, winning a Tony. In addition to being the showrunner for Fosse/Verdon, Levenson wrote the first two episodes. Should the series live up to the hype, it's very possible that Steven Levenson may find himself halfway to an EGOT.
2 Fosse and Verdon's daughter is a co-executive producer
Depictions of true events can be tricky, to say the least. The characters seen onscreen aren't just characters; they are, or were, real people too. Often those people have family members and loved ones who remember them a certain way. If the onscreen portrayal doesn't match the memory, this can cause controversy. Just look at the uproar over Green Book.
Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be any danger of this happening with Fosse/Verdon. The couple's daughter, Nicole Fosse, not only serves as co-producer to the series but she provided deep insight into her parents' relationship. Producer Joel Fields told The Hamilton Spectator, "...having Nicole is an incredible asset because she's able to share not only the facts as she remembers them, but the emotional experience." If the trailer is any indication, the experience will be an emotional one for the audience, too.
1 The series was originally just called "Fosse"
This makes sense, as the series is based on the book of the same name. According to the New York Times, during the research phase of the project, both Thomas Kail and Steven Levenson realized that Gwen Verdon's voice was critical to this story. Levenson was adamant that he didn't want the series to be, "Another story about a brilliant man haunted by demons who behaves badly and does terrible things."
Michelle Williams echoes this sentiment: "We’re now going to find out who Gwen Verdon is.”