Preview: Fosse/Verdon

Ben Vereen (AHMAD SIMMONS) performing in 'Pippin'

It’s the premiere of Cabaret, and a nervous Bob Fosse waits outside, unable to stop himself from seeing all the things he could have fixed in the edit. Producer Cy Feuer comes out to try and encourage him to see the rest of film, but Bob prefers to go home, saying he is not in the mood for a funeral.

The next morning Bob is woken early by his friend Paddy Chayefsky, who brings him the rave reviews and tells Bob he has a blank cheque to do whatever he wants. Bob starts the rehearsals for the new Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin by talking about the song ‘Glory’ and equating Pippin’s situation with the horror of the Cambodian war.

Joan Simon is being visited in hospital by Gwen, who has high hopes for her new play, Children Children. Gwen picks Nicole up from the rehearsals of Pippin and asks Bob when is he going to come to her rehearsals. When Bob says he’ll be at the opening night, Gwen says she needs him before then to fix it.

Although Bob is indulging in the high life, with several girlfriends, pills and poppers, he attends Gwen’s opening night. Gwen tearfully tells him that the play is closing after only one performance since the producers have had word of the bad notices and poor box office. She implies that Bob should have found the time to come to try-outs to help with rewrites which might have saved the play.

During Pippin rehearsals, Bob is not happy with the ending and suggests that Pippin goes out in “Glory” by setting himself on fire on stage…

Fosse/Verdon – Friday at 9.00pm on BBC Two.

Photo: BBC/FX