Wednesday, June 5, 2019

One That Got Away: Bob Fosse's Big Deal

After spending a lot of time looking back at 300 different Broadway shows, and feeling so grateful for every single one of them, I also started thinking about shows I missed. It seems... I don't know... selfish? I am so fortunate to be able to indulge in my passion regularly, and yet I'd love to have seen so much more. At any rate, here's a start to a new occasional series about those I missed. Here's One That Got Away.

So the inaugural edition comes from already missing Fosse/Verdon. (The is a safe space, readers. We can all admit we are mourning its end...) I was actively attending theatre regularly in the mid-80's, and in fact, was obsessing over another Bob Fosse show I had just seen - the revival of Sweet Charity. Two and a half weeks after that opened, so did Big Deal. I still kick myself over missing it. Somewhere, I have a VHS tape of the 1986 Tony Awards, which featured a scene from that show. (Mom, if you are reading this would you please look for my tapes?)

Big Deal Production Information and Stats:
  • Book by Bob Fosse (Based on the film "Big Deal on Madonna Street")
  • Music/Lyrics by various artists
  • Scenic Design by Peter Larkin
  • Costume Design by Patricia Zipprodt
  • Lighting Design by Jules Fisher
  • Dance Captain - Valarie Pettiford
  • Assistant Choreographer - Christopher Chadman
  • Direction and Choreography by Bob Fosse

  • 1st Preview: April 1, 1986
  • Opening Night: April 10, 1986
  • Closing Night: June 8, 1986
  • 8 previews, 69 performances

Why am I disappointed that I missed this one? Well, Bob Fosse. I love his work, his aesthetic, his style. And, of course, in retrospect, it was his last show. It is a small consolation that a small piece of it made it into Fosse. Needless to say, I did not miss that show.

Did you see Big Deal? Let me know!  I'd love to chat with you about it.



  1. Saw your post on Big Deal. I did see it. I don;t remember that much detail about it (I remember more about the original Do I Hear A Waltz which I saw when I was 16), but I do remember that it was a bit dull, only alive when dancing. It was based on the Italian film Big Deal on Madonna Street about amateur criminals. The book here was not interesting, there was a skeletal set, great dancing but the use of pre-existing songs made it seem like a juke-box musical--the story to fit the songs.

  2. Thanks for your reply, Peter! It sounds like I would have been in Bob Fosse heaven during the dancing, and fighting to stay awake the rest of the time. Glad I saw Dancin' and Fosse then!

    I appreciate your interest and I hope you'll continue reading my blog.




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