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robert fosse

             In the history of musical theatre, few people can be said to have revolutionized the industry of musical theatre. One such person was actor, director, producer, and choreographer Bob Fosse. The impact that fosse had on the entertainment industry can still be felt today. This paper will give a brief history of the decadent and intriguing life of Bob Fosse.
             Robert Louis Fosse was born on June 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. Being the son of a vaudevillian he was appropriately enough born into the theatre. As a child, the art of dance wasn't only used as a past time by young Fosse, but rather as a way of gaining attention from friends and family. From an early age he had already started studying ballet, tap and acrobatic dance. As Fosse grew up, his talented dancing and signature showmanship had began molding his future career. While still a teenager, he performed with a partner as the Riff brothers in vaudeville and burlesque theaters. At 15 he choreographed his first number in a night-club, in which girls manipulated strategically-placed ostrich feathers to Cole Porter's 'That Old Black Magic'. It was the kind of sexual suggestiveness which would become a trademark of Fosse's choreography. Before moving to New York and studying acting at the American Theatre Wing, Fosse finished High School in 1945 and had spent two years in the U.S Navy. He also made extra money tapping in burlesque halls and strip clubs, where he was exposed to provocative gestures and poses of strippers. .
             After moving to New York, Fosse landed his first Broadway job in the chorus of "Call Me Mister" (1948). His Broadway debut, however, followed two years later in "Dance Me a Song" (1950). After debuting on Broadway Fosse set his sights on Hollywood. It was working on three small films including "Kiss Me Kate" (1953), which helped Fosse realize his place was in theatre. His return to theatre brought on "The Pajama Game" (1954).

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