‘A Tribute to Bob Fosse’ with Vail Performing Arts Academy, March 11-12 | VailDaily.com

‘A Tribute to Bob Fosse’ with Vail Performing Arts Academy, March 11-12

The Vail Performing Arts Academy presents "A Tribute to Bob Fosse" Saturday and Sunday in the Battle Mountain High School auditorium.
Rex Keep | Special to the Daily |

If You Go ...

What: Vail Performing Arts Academy’s “Tribute to Bob Fosse.”

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12.

Where: Battle Mountain High School auditorium, 151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards.

Cost: $15 general admission; buy tickets online or at the door.

More information: Visit http://www.vpaa.org, or email Annah Scully at annah@vpaa.org. Also, signup has begun for students ages 8 to 18 for the Vail Performing Arts Academy’s summer musical, “Singing in the Rain.”

In the beginning, there was Bob Fosse, and if you check out the Vail Performing Arts Academy’s “Tribute to Bob Fosse,” then you’ll understand why.

Before there was MTV — or Empty-V if you’re of a certain age — there was Fosse.

“Bob Fosse paved the way for a whole generation of film and video directors, showing dance through the camera lens as no one had done before, foreshadowing the rise of the MTV-era of music video dance,” said Annah Scully, executive producer of the Vail Performing Arts Academy.

High Energy and a little history

“Tribute to Bob Fosse” is an upbeat revue of songs and dances from the legendary Broadway director, producer and choreographer. The Vail Performing Arts Academy performers will present numbers from “All That Jazz,” “Sweet Charity,” “Chicago,” “Dancin’,” “Pajama Game,” “Cabaret” and “Pippin.”

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Artistic director and choreographer Colin Meiring did a tribute show in 2001, the same year the Broadway tribute closed. If your arithmetic is correct, you realize that was before these Vail Performing Arts Academy kids were born.

“I don’t think any of these kids had heard of Bob Fosse,” Meiring said. “They thought it was all new. They’ve never been around any sort of dancing like that.”

Meiring hears from former academy performers all of the time, many of whom are studying musical theater or working professionally.

Guess what they’re learning? They’re learning about Fosse. So are the Vail Performing Arts Academy performers. So will you.

Prior to each number, a cast member will give the audience a brief history lesson about Fosse, the number they’re about to see and a little historical perspective.

Relax. It’s not complicated, and there’s not a quiz. It’s just fun to learn new stuff.

“It has been a good learning tool for them,” Meiring said.

A feast for your senses

“A Tribute to Bob Fosse” is a feast for your senses. Not only is it good looking, but the vocals are amazing.

Hallie Moore takes on “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret and knocks it out of the park.

Tanner Essex is masterful with “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin.

Sam Jaffe is spot on with “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago.

From “Pajama Game,” the 1953 Tony Award winner, the triple threat of Harry Jaffe, Katie Keith and Addie Maurer perform “Steam Heat.” Triple threats because they sing, dance and act through a five-minute, nonstop marathon of singing and dancing.

“These kids are doing much of the original choreography. We didn’t have to tamp it down,” Meiring said.

Before Empty-V

Director and choreographer Robert Louis Fosse was the only person to ever win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and a Golden Globe in the same year, until this year, when Viola Davis did it.

Fosse forever changed the way audiences viewed dance on stage and in the film industry in the late 20th century, with work that was provocative, entertaining and quite unlike anything ever before seen.

Physically demanding of even the most highly trained dancers, his dances addressed the full range of human emotions — sensual and full of humor, as well as bleak cynicism.

Fosse won eight Tony Awards for choreography, more than anyone else, as well as one for direction. He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning for his direction of “Cabaret.”

Fosse directed five feature films. His first, “Sweet Charity” (1969), starring Shirley MacLaine, is an adaptation of the Broadway musical he had directed and choreographed. Fosse shot the film largely on location in Manhattan. His second film, “Cabaret” (1972), won eight Academy Awards, including Best Director, which he won over Francis Ford Coppola for “The Godfather.” The film was shot on location in Berlin and Munich, Germany; Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey both won Oscars for their roles.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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