Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



In 1978 Bob Fosse created a show called Dancin’. “Created” seems the best word for it, as there was no plot, just segues between dance numbers, of which there were a lot. I guess there was some singin’ in the show, but basically it was exactly what the title said. A whole lotta dancin’, all of it choreographed by Bob Fosse himself. As far as I know, no recording was made of this show. (Hard to remember when every cast member didn’t have a videocam, isn’t it? Not to mention cell phone cameras, which were non-existent.) This is a real shame, as Dancin’ is not a show that will be revived very often. (So far, only in a London production.) Not because it was bad; far from it. It’s just that there was so much dancin’, and of such a demanding nature, that only New York and maybe Los Angeles and perhaps Chicago could boast enough hoofers to stage it. You can bet you’re not going to see any local theater guilds attempting it.

The chief delight of Fosse is that it brings back some of these numbers, as remembered and re-staged by Ann Reinking, Bob’s long-time girlfriend, as portrayed so memorably in All That Jazz. Now, at last, at least some of that show is immortalized on wide-screen, Hi-Def DVD, along with many other numbers from Fosse’s career, from stage shows like Damn Yankees, Liza With a Z, Big Deal, The Pajama Game, Chicago, and Pippin, and movies like Cabaret and All That Jazz. I suppose I’ll always be thirsty for more—I understand there was one number where the dancers’ shoes were nailed to the floor!—but I’ll take what I can get.

Here’s the playbill:

Act I
* Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries (from Big Deal)
* Fosse’s World
* Bye Bye Blackbird (from Liza with a Z)
* From the Edge (from Dancin’)
* Percussion 4 (from Dancin’)
* Big Spender (from Sweet Charity)
* Crunchy Granola Suite (from Dancin’)
* From This Moment On (from Kiss Me, Kate)
* Transition (inspired by Redhead)
* I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man (from Dancin’)

Act II
* Shoeless Joe Ballet (from Damn Yankees)
* Dancing in the Dark
* Steam Heat (from The Pajama Game)
* I Gotcha (from Liza With a Z)
* Rich Man’s Frug (from Sweet Charity)
* Transition: Silky Thoughts
* Cool Hand Luke (from a 1968 Bob Hope television special)
* Dancin’ Dan (Me and My Shadow) (from Dancin’)
* Nowadays / The Hot Honey Rag (from Chicago)

* Glory (from Pippin)
* Manson Trio (from Pippin)
* Mein Herr (from Cabaret)
* Take Off with Us/Three Pas de Deux (from All That Jazz)
* Razzle Dazzle (from Chicago)
* Who’s Sorry Now (from All that Jazz)
* There’s Gonna Be Some Changes Made (from All that Jazz)
* Mr. Bojangles (from Dancin’)
* Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries (Reprise)
* Sing! Sing! Sing! (from Dancin’)