THE MEN OF FOSSE -- Continuing a Legacy

Our biggest panel performance ever
- so far!

Men of Fosse

The Curtain Call for the Men of Fosse – with a few Women of Fosse, too!
(back row, l to r) Gene Gavin, Johnny Nola, Dick Korthaze, Bill Guske, Harvey Evans, Ken Urmston
(front row, l to r) Gene Foote, Penny Worth, George Marcy,
DO40 President John Sefakis and Louise Quick

The Men of Fosse broke all records for DO40!  Our third in the series of In the Company of Friends:  Dancers Talking to Dancers, brought together four short of a dozen men who danced Fosse from 1955 to the 80s.  The crowd was bursting out of the New Dance Group space, but that also contributed to the intimacy – and some tearful moments shared.

The afternoon began with David Lewis at the piano playing a montage of music from all the Fosse shows.  As people arrived they were greeted by old show tunes – and old friends – and a sumptuous buffet courtesy of DO40 member Joe Ahumada and his partner, Brian Albert. However, this time the audience was interspersed with a large contingent of internet types, young dancers and musicians as well.  A wonderful article in the December issue of AMERICAN THEATER MAGAZINE with pictures of President John Sefakis and new Board Member Harvey Evans helped boost ticket sales!  Word of mouth spread through All That Chat, Talkin’ Broadway’s message board and there were stories on and Playbill.

Men of Fosse 2

Pres John Sefakis with Louise Quick
and Johnny Nola

The panel included DO40 board members Richard Korthaze (PIPPIN, CHICAGO, DANCIN’), George Marcy (DAMN YANKEES -- original cast, BILLION DOLLAR BABY -- with Fosse), and Harvey Evans (NEW GIRL IN TOWN, REDHEAD, DAMN YANKEES tour with GWEN VERDON in 1974), and DO40 members Ken Urmston (NEW GIRL IN TOWN, PIPPIN) Johnny Nola (REDHEAD) and Gene Gavin (LITTLE ME).  Special guests and returning members also included Bill Guske (REDHEAD, HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO) and Gene Foote (SWEET CHARITY, PIPPIN and CHICAGO). 

The opening number, “Whatever Lola Wants,” from DAMN YANKEES, had DO40 member Penny Worth dancing between the chairs of the eight Broadway gypsies, and later in the program, she slithered around doing a female rendition of Fosse’s “snake” from the movie THE LITTLE PRINCE.  Also performing were Ken Urmston and David Lewis who sang “Razzle Dazzle,” and George Marcy, who ended the show with original choreography from the devil – doing “Those Were the Good Old Days” from DAMN YANKEES.

Moderator and Fosse dancer and assistant Louise Quick brought out the best of the men and knew exactly what and how to ask the right questions to the panel.  Louise had been on the Women of Fosse panel moderated by Harvey Evans, so she had experience on her side! 

Penny Worth 1Intermission was a love fest-social event, and the audience watched a clip of Harvey Evans dancing “Who’s Got the Pain” from DAMN YANKEES with Gwen Verdon on an old Ed Sullivan show. There were prizes, raffles and promises of more panels to come. Next on the agenda, The Dancers of Gower Champion! This is tentatively scheduled for February. Long-time DO40 member Nicole Barth, Gower’s assistant on HELLO, DOLLY! , Karin Baker from 42nd STREET, Eileen Casey, one of the founding members of DO40 and possibly that Harvey Evans again (did he dance in EVERY show from the 50s and 60s?!??!?!) have been penciled in to appear. Stay tuned via the website and newsletter. Remember, only members get newsletters – and discounts at events such as these panels, parties and fundraising events.

So, if you haven’t joined yet – you can do so online right here on this site! Fast, simple and an important way to support your fellow dancers! Please join now!

The event was filmed and will be donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.  Portions of the program may be aired on Thirteen/WNET’s website, in the future, as may The Women of Fosse.  So, stay tuned!

Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc