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Big DealBob Fosse and Dance in the American Musical$
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Kevin Winkler

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199336791.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Comic Relief

Comic Relief

(p.87) 4 Comic Relief
Big Deal

Kevin Winkler

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Bob Fosse’s work on the musicals How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying and Little Me. Though now established as a director-choreographer, Fosse still harbored ambitions as a performer. He played the title role in Pal Joey at New York’s City Center, a role he had first played a decade earlier. In How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Fosse’s musical staging satirized 1960s corporate and sexual politics and was a key ingredient in its long-running success. He choreographed and co-directed (with Cy Feuer) Little Me, a revue-style vehicle for Sid Caesar, and his dances, featuring vaudeville and burlesque pastiches, captured the breezy exuberance of television variety show production numbers of the period. These two shows were emblematic of Kennedy-era confidence and high spirits, demonstrating Fosse’s mastery of comic musical staging.

Keywords:   musical staging, corporate and sexual politics, Kennedy era, Little Me, Pal Joey, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Seasons of Youth, Cleveland, U.S.A, Cy Feuer

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