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With all their flaws, all their quirks, all their jazz, Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon were all about performance. As depicted by Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams in “Fosse/Verdon,” the indelible work this duo brought to the screen provides a fascinating heart to this series. One of the most impressive things about FX’s new limited series is how it pulses with the beat of the shows brought to life by its titular characters.
“Fosse/Verdon” occupies an interesting place in the TV sphere, because in some ways it feels like a show produced by Ryan Murphy. But Murphy had no involvement; the brain trust behind Broadway blockbuster “Hamilton” is in charge, with the full list of executive producers including Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Fields, Rockwell, Williams, and George Stelzner. And the love of theater is very present here: In the first two episodes of the series, directed by Kail, the shows these two icons created together get the front-and-center placement they deserve.
Performances - Rockwell - Williams - Role - Verdon
As far as the performances go, Rockwell is solid but overpowered by Williams, who so embodies the role of Verdon that you can’t imagine how anyone allowed her light to be outshined by anyone else. The vibrancy Williams brings to the screen is important because Fosse’s name has resonated so much louder in history than hers, despite (the way the show depicts things, anyway) her playing a vital role in bringing films like “Sweet Charity,” “Cabaret,” and more to life. The detail put into these elements is amazing; each scene invoking what she brought to the table proves to be as exhilarating as the original, even as there’s an awareness of recreation.
The biggest issue facing this show is the need to be aware of the works referenced — even though each property currently has varying levels of viewing...
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