More than a quarter-century after his death, Bob Fosse's fingerprints on popular culture remain indelible. The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment, forever marking Broadway and Hollywood with his iconic style -- hat tilted, fingers splayed -- that would influence generations of performing artists.Read more...
More than a quarter-century after his death, Bob Fosse's fingerprints on popular culture remain indelible. The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment, forever marking Broadway and Hollywood with his iconic style -- hat tilted, fingers splayed -- that would influence generations of performing artists. Yet in spite of Fosse's innumerable achievements, no accomplishment ever seemed to satisfy him, and offstage his life was shadowed in turmoil and anxiety.Now, bestselling author Sam Wasson unveils the man behind the swaggering sex appeal, tracing Fosse's untold reinventions of himself over a career that would spawn The Pajama Game, Cabaret, Pippin, All That Jazz, and Chicago, one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material and hundreds of sources -- friends, enemies, lovers, and collaborators, many of whom have never spoken publicly about Fosse before -- Wasson illuminates not only Fosse's prodigious professional life, but also his close and conflicted relationships with everyone from Liza Minnelli to Ann Reinking to Jessica Lange and Dustin Hoffman. Wasson also uncovers the deep wounds that propelled Fosse's insatiable appetites -- for spotlights, women, and life itself. In this sweeping, richly detailed account, Wasson's stylish, effervescent prose proves the ideal vehicle for revealing Bob Fosse as he truly was -- after hours, close up, and in vibrant color.
- ISBN-13: 9780547553290
- ISBN-10: 0547553293
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publish Date: November 2013
- Page Count: 723
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.5 x 9.25 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.25 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Bob Fosse, the legendary Broadway choreographer and director of the trendsetting movie antimusicals Cabaret and All That Jazz (which chronicled his life), is the glittering, neurotic soul of showbiz in this scintillating biography. Film scholar and critic Wasson (Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.) styles Fosse as a charismatic charmer, a relentless and endearing lady's man, a tyrant in the rehearsal studio, a prima donna in the director's chair, and a methamphetamine-addicted narcissist with a persistent death wish and simultaneous delusions of grandeur and worthlessness. Embedded within this exhilarating, appalling portrait is a revealing account of Fosse's dance innovations: the fluttering hands, wrist flicks, shoulder shrugs and other "isolations" of disarticulated body parts; the sleazy vaudevillian glamor inspired—and haunted—by his teenage years dancing at burlesque clubs; his vision of life as a cynical "performance of self." There's an enormous amount of scholarship here, yet the story never drags, so adroitly does he blend his material into a fluent narrative around evocative scenes where character emerges novelistically. Throughout, he spotlights vivid supporting sketches of celebrities from Fred Astaire (who "danced even when he stood still") to Liza Minnelli ("a strange, spastic show-biz animal"). Agent: David Halpern, the Robbins Office.(Nov.)