Fosse the Musical

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 26 January 2000, opened 8 February 2000, closed 13 January 2001 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London.

The Tony Award winning stage musical Fosse in London featuring the choreography of the legendary Bob Fosse.

The Dance of a Lifetime! Bob Fosse, director and choreographer of Chicago is the most provocative and influential choreographer of this generation - here, his greatest moments of musical theatre, film and television are recreated for the first time. From Chicago to Sweet Charity and Cabaret, Bob Fosse's distinctive style and unique vision revolutionised the musical theatre. His films from Cabaret to All That Jazz, were the last great movie musicals. He is the only person to win the 'Creative Triple Crown' - an Oscar for the film Cabaret, an Emmy for the TV special Liza With A Z and a Tony Award for the musical Pippin. Now live on stage Fosse the Musical presents an evening of highlights from his astonishing career recreated by long time Fosse stars Gwen Verdon and Ann Reinking along with Richard Maltby Jr.

"Bob Fosse was the celebrated American director choreographer who put stunning dance sequences into a string of hit musicals. Sweet Charity, Chicago, Cabaret and The Pajama Game were all huge successes thanks to his sexy razzle dazzle. But the show that bears his name has precious little razzle - and certainly doesn't dazzle. It is billed as a musical but there is a lot less to it than that. There's no star, no set and no story. It's simply a song and dance over the work of a song and dance man... The all-British cast of 20 was so energetic you felt exhausted just watching... There's only so much head-shaking, shoulder-shrugging, bottom-wiggling, arm-waving, hand-clapping, finger-snapping and toe-tapping a person can take. But it should keep dance fans and the millinery trade happy for a long time to come." The Daily Mirror

"Joint creators Richard Maltby Jr, Chet Walker and Ann Reinking took a chance by casting mostly British dancers in the London production of their award-winning tribute show, Fosse. But, overall, the gamble came off, with the home-grown "gypsies" injecting Broadway-style dynamism into such fabulous Fosse set-pieces as Big Spender (from Sweet Charity) and Chicago's Razzle Dazzle... to the sensational finale, with the entire company hoofing fit to bust to Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing, the show crackles with energy enough to light up the entire West End and still have some left over for encores... The show is as crisp as a snap of the fingers, as sexy as the fishnet stockings the girls wear and as stylish as Fosse 's bowler hats and waistcoats trademarks. It's just sensational." The News of the World

"Sensual, stylish, spectacular: Bob Fosse would be proud of the musical that bears his name. This stupendous show should come with a warning or two. It is called Fosse: The Musical, but it is not a musical. It is a song-and-dance fiesta and a homage to a great choreographer-director of musicals. Unlike musicals, it has no characters, only performers; it has no story, only a succession of numbers... The show is a brilliant guide to the extraordinary mix that is Fosse's choreographic style... It has superb razzmatazz without even a story to follow. But you do warm to its sheer verve and energy and high polish, and to the superb expertise of the young company, led by Nicola Hughes." The Sunday Times

"Life, as the opening and closing number of Fosse goes, 'is just a bowl of cherries'. The show gathers the juiciest, tastiest, ripest fruits of the maverick Oscar-winning choreographer's showbiz career and doles them out, one by one, for our delectation... As tribute shows go (this is a joint tribute by Fosse's third wife, Gwen Verdon, the original star of Chicago, and director Ann Reinking, who stepped into her shoes as Roxie and became Fosse's muse and mistress), Fosse is pretty flawless. Dancing girls and boys who lift each limb that little bit further, higher, longer, faster and then some, while also synchronising their smoking, perform his greatest hits with rigorous, loving attention to detail. The timing is meticulous, the technique miraculous. But there's a fundamental dramatic problem in making a show from a series of showstoppers. A great musical number stops a show because it pushes forward the narrative in a thrilling fusion of song and music and dance. Without knowing what all the song and dance is about, stripped as it is here of its context and characterisation, it comes from no one and goes nowhere. It's just a showcase - in this case stunning exhibitionism, but that's all folks... Fosse's dirty dancing can feel a bit sanitised, the cockeyed saucy smiles forced and pasted on, the ribald riffs a little repetitive. The performance comes to a delayed boil for the finale in which the 20-strong company dance, dance, dance to the jazz rhythms of Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing. The pace is dazzling, breathless, exhilarating. And entirely lacking dramatic surprises." The Mail on Sunday

Fosse in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre previewed from 24 January, opened on 8 February 2000 and closed on 13 January 2001.