Friday, June 07, 2019

Update on "Fosse/Verdon"

CW: Suicidal Ideation. 
Here's the thing. I finished "Fosse/Verdon". It's not a happy story. They are playing around with time in ways I can't decide if it ends up being more interesting than distracting. The Michelle Williams performance is captivating. Even when it's her washing dishes with a phone to her ear. Is it still a tale of a misunderstood genius who probably betrayed everyone in his life at least once and the folks married to him like billions of times? Oh hell yeah. 
I should mention I have a fondness for a number of the Fosse musicals. But "Pippin" was one my parents loved, had the cast album, rented a video taped version, there is no part of that show I can't sing today. (Okay, like two parts.)
Well, "Pippin" is a show about a dude who is sure he is destined for greatness, feels his life is too ordinary, and tries to fix it. Love doesn't work. War doesn't work. Suicide is suggested and right before the end Pippin realizes nope, love was all I needed and bails out. Using the themes, the songs, the razzmatazz, of all that as bits throughout the action was incredibly powerful. And yet, other episodes they have held back, done teases, but not all the way. I think some of this is he was having a breakdown so they could go all in, but in the end, I think this will be the episode that stood out, because they went all in thematically. And because watching Fosse's daughter sing a haunting "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" is kind of what this whole show is - a study of man who was quite awful and yet better than others.