Get your jazz hands ready, because the trailer for Fosse/Verdon is here. The upcoming FX limited series is based on the careers and relationship of the Broadway powerhouse choreographer Bob Fosse and the iconic dancer Gwen Verdon, starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams as the all-American couple, with the help of some major onscreen transformation.
The eight-episode show doesn’t hit FX until April 9, but the trailer offers an intimate look at it, and there is a lot going on. Yes, there are plenty of jazz hands, but there is also a surprising amount of drama between Fosse and Verdon that’s not just specific to their careers—it also gets at the human experience. In the second trailer (the first was released in January), we see them fall in love and, inevitably, out of love.
“I screwed up, okay? I know that,” Rockwell tells Williams, adding, “I couldn’t think without you—you understand? I want to come home. I’m in love with you.” She acknowledges that by slamming the car door in his face, but that only fuels Fosse’s work, as he later reveals.
“That’s what we do though, isn’t it? We take what hurts, and we turn it into a big gag, and we’re singing, and we’re dancing, and the audience, they’re yucking it up,” Rockwell’s character says. “They’re laughing so hard. They don’t realize that all they’re laughing at is a person in agony, a person who’s peeled off his own skin.”
Fosse’s name will no doubt ring familiar to anyone who’s seen the film or Broadway version of Chicago, which he famously choreographed (and in which Verdon danced). Fosse also, to this day, has the record for the most Tony wins (for his choreography and directing).
Appropriately, Fosse/Verdon also has a theatrical pedigree: Producers include Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hamilton director Thomas Kail, and the Dear Evan Hansen writer Steven Levenson (as well as Fosse and Verdon’s daughter, Nicole Fosse). Meanwhile, the cast includes Aya Cash, Norbert Leo Butz, Kelli Barrett, Nate Corddry, and Evan Handler.
As the official description reads, “Based on Fosse, the biography written by Sam Wasson, this eight-part limited series tells the story of the singular romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors, she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. Together they changed the face of American entertainment – at a perilous cost. Featuring Fosse’s choreography, the series explores the hidden corners of show business, the price of pursuing greatness, and the suffering inflicted in the name of art.” In other words, it’s pretty perfect that you’ll have time to emotionally recover each week before the next episode airs.