Here are two videos demonstrating Bob Fosse’s stratospheric performance talent, which was largely ignored or forgotten once his stratospheric choreographing and directing talent erupted for all to see. Though he began as a performer, Fosse, always super show-biz savvy, must have seen that he was never going to be a leading man and that his natural casting niche was probably going to be the short, funny sweet guy who loves the girl who just wants to be friends with him. (Sidney Lumet, another former actor turned director, once said that he quit acting because he knew the only role for him was going to be the little dying Jewish G.I. who the hero carries off the battlefield). So: the top clip is the complete Fosse/Verdon ‘Who’s Got The Pain’ from ‘Damn Yankees’. The clip below is an interesting eight minute chunk from a documentary in which Gwen Verdon discusses Fosse’s dancing. We see a number of clips from early TV shows that Fosse appeared on (‘The Morey Amsterdam Show’ among them, giving you an idea of how far back they go) and while the clips are annoyingly short and fragmented, they still give us insight into the young dancer-for-hire Fosse. This is Fosse before anyone knew that the little guy who danced circles around the others was soon to be one of the greatest–if not the greatest–innovators of the Broadway and Hollywood musical.


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