Let’s not waste any time with introductions and jump straight into this week’s episode of FX’s Fosse/Verdon. The show kicked off back in 1960, revealing what seemed like the first time Gwen Verdon found out Bob Fosse cheated on her. It was an especially big blow because he did so with a chorus girl in her show. This is a trend he never gave up. Somehow this blow up with broken glass all over the floor of their apartment ended in a proposal. Typical Bob manipulation and it worked.
Back to 1975, it’s all about Chicago rehearsals. Bob finds out the production took out a one million insurance policy on him. A standard move to insure the director, but Bob was offended. Can you blame them? Bob’s health was as big of a mess as his love life.
Then came the 9th rehearsal for Chicago before Bob went back to the hospital. Finally, we got to see Gwen in on the action rather than assisting on the choreo. I felt so bad watching her struggle to keep up the pace. Bob talked behind her back about slowing it down so she could keep up. He ended up reworking the whole scene so she was just a hand puppet, sitting for the majority of the fast-pace choreography. Clearly, that affected Gwen’s confidence, which has already endured so much.
Come to find out, Bob’s doctors took away his prescription drugs. Definitely a good move, but it made him desperate. He wasn’t functioning the same without them. He begs his friend Paddy to score him some drugs, to which he refuses. He wasn’t going to be putting the bullets in his back. He also scolded him for continuing to smoke. Call me crazy, but I don’t think Bob cares about his health.
Bob and Gwen then attend legend Nicole Fosse’s dance recital and fought about the state of Chicago the entire time. Gwen wanted changes made to the show that Bob was against. Gwen’s poor boyfriend sat there in horror as parents around them told the pair to shut up, essentially. In the end, Gwen got her number at the end of the show. I don’t think Nicole noticed, at least. After the show, they dropped her off at Ann’s house. Ann couldn’t make it because she had practice for her big show. When they arrived, Ann of course noticed Bob’s absence. Gwen says he had to go take care of something for the show. I’m sure she genuinely believed that was his intention. Instead, he went to a chorus girls house because of course he did. He was trying to get her to get him pills. A brand new low.
Gwen performed a song written specifically for her character, Roxy, in Chicago. It was great, everyone who heard it loved it as the ending number. Bob instead forced her to make it a duet with someone else, although everyone protested. Gwen retaliated and of course we applauded her because we will forever support the queen popping off! Gwen made sure to remind him she not only saved his life, but also his career, on several occasions. It was clear he did not want her to be the star of the show, especially with this big closing number. In the end, it became a duet.
Then came the opening night afterparty for the show. Nicole was there, thriving as always, sneaking alcohol. Bob gave Ann the cold shoulder, he was more concerned about the reviews in the paper. She was trying to make sure he ate. I think every woman can relate to trying to care of a man who doesn’t care and makes it known. Ann has become a character I really feel for in this series and also real life! I’m sure he put her through hell.
Another random side note we learned from the past was that Bob had infertility issues. They had to go through treatments in hopes of having a child. When seeing the doctor, he recognized Gwen and not Bob. He had no idea who he was, but was a huge fan of Gwen’s. The same went as they were interviewed at adoption agencies. Maybe this is where Bob’s unwillingness to make Gwen the star of Chicago came from. It seems like he always saw her as competition. When Gwen eventually did get pregnant, Bob was confused because he was told he was infertile. He questioned if he was the father.
Five weeks after Chicago opened, it seemed like there was trouble with the show. Gwen was drinking wine backstage. Apparently, Gwen’s voice was off. She was struggling to hit her notes and the player reviews were taking note. Apparently she swallowed a piece of confetti and needed surgery that would put her out of the show for six weeks. Well, that’s a new fear I have now. Stay clear of confetti guns, guys. Also, I loved how Bob said she needed to have the surgery to take care of herself, as if he had any room to talk. Bob promised it would be her show when she returned.
Gwen’s surgery was successful. Liza Minnelli ended up filling in for her during recovery and the reviews of the show got better. The line for tickets went down the street. Gwen was obviously upset, it was clear she would be replaced even when she was back to full health. My heart broke for her, again. Gwen returned to the show post surgery, though her boyfriend urged her to quit. Liza even left her a cute message thanking her for allowing her to fill the spot. Hopefully next week we get some answers. Is Bob Nicole’s biological father? Is Gwen’s return to Chicago triumphant? Check back next week after the finale to find out!