For someone who has done a fair share of jazz hands in my youth as a dance student, the most exciting moment of the slog that was the 76th edition of the Golden Globes wasn’t during the ceremony. It was the teaser trailer for FX’s limited series“Fosse/Verdon,” with Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell as choreographer and filmmaker Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as his wife, muse and Broadway sensation Gwen Verdon. Lin-Manuel Miranda is an executive producer. Also involved is the couple’s daughter, Nicole Fosse, who is a co-executive producer and oversaw the project, including the use of her father’s original choreography.
If you have ever seen 1979’s nine-time Oscar nominated “All That Jazz,” the autobiographical film directed by Fosse and starring Roy Scheider, the clip above has a similar feel of sophistication, sensuality and snap — as it should. I would never guess that Rockwell, who usually is slotted into oddball characters such as his vile racist cop in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” would end up playing this notorious alpha male womanizer with slick moves both on and off the stage.
It is also exciting to see what is in store as Michelle Williams tackles the role of Verdon, a four-time Tony winner who met Fosse when she starred as the seductive Lola in the ‘50s Broadway musical “Damn Yankees.” Williams, a four-time nominee Academy Award nominee, headlined a revival of “Cabaret,” whose 1972 film version earned Fosse a directing Oscar and seven other trophies but lost Best Picture to “The Godfather.” That suggests she probably knows how to handle a bowler hat and belt out a tune. It also marks Williams’ return to the small screen nearly 20 years after she starred on the teen-bait TV series “Dawson’s Creek.”
Not since “Feud: Bette and Joan” or the first season of “Smash” has a TV project given me such inside show-bizzy tingles. Here is a taste of the actual Fosse and Verdon doing the mambo to “Who’s Got the Pain” from 1958 film adaptation of “Damn Yankees.”