Bob Fosse 1927–1987
Born Chicago, Illinois
Harry Benson (born 1929)
Gelatin silver print, 1979

Enlarged image

Cavalier Galleries, Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut
© Harry Benson


Bob Fosse 1927–1987
Born Chicago, Illinois
Harry Benson (born 1929)
Gelatin silver print, 1979

From the 1940s through the 1970s, storytelling choreographers like Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins held sway over the American musical theater. Bob Fosse contributed a unique attitude to the era, bringing a cock-of-the-walk intensity and a dance style that was sinuous, angular, and driven: fingers snapped, shoulders rolled, hips swiveled, and dancers strutted.

Fosse choreographed such great Broadway shows as The Pajama Game (1954), Sweet Charity (1955), Bells Are Ringing (1956), and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (1961). His movie and television hits included Cabaret (1972), which won eight Oscars, and the Emmy-winning NBC special Liza with a “Z” (1972).

Chicago (1975) was the quintessential Fosse show, resplendent in his trademark dames-in-sequins seediness. Its anthem rang out, “Give ’em the old razzle dazzle/Razzle dazzle ’em/Give ’em an act with lots of flash in it / And the reaction will be passionate.”



Enlarged image

Cavalier Galleries, Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut
© Harry Benson