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‘Fosse/Verdon’ Is Full of Broadway Legends. Here’s Who’s Who.

April 8, 2019

The limited series “Fosse/Verson,” which starts Tuesday on FX, spins and arches its way through the relationship between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. Fosse was a dancer, choreographer, director and filmmaker, who would win nine Tony Awards. Verdon, who married him in 1960 and continued to work with him after they separated in 1971, was the greatest comic dancer Broadway ever fell for and won four Tonys of her own.

Created by some more big Broadway names — Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda, of “Hamilton,” are executive producers, Steven Levenson, who wrote the book for “Dear Evan Hansen,” is the showrunner — the series assumes a thorough knowledge of mid-century Broadway and beyond. Here’s a cheat sheet to who’s who and what’s what.

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The Shed Opens with a Purpose. And a Party.

March 28, 2019

 The Shed, the 21st-century arts complex devoted to presenting new work, opens with its first concert series, Soundtrack of America, which celebrates not the European classical sphere but the heritage of African-American music across a broad historical and stylistic spectrum, from spirituals to hip-hop. Most of the crowd will share a dance floor.

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Hal Blaine, Pop Music’s Go-To Studio Drummer, Dies at 90

March 13, 2019

Hal Blaine, the ubiquitous drummer whose work in the 1960s and ’70s with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, the Ronettes and many others established him as one of the top session musicians of all time, died on Monday at his home in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 90.

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Ira Gitler, Influential Jazz Critic and Historian, Dies at 90

February 28, 2019

Ira Gitler, who was one of the most respected and prolific jazz writers of the postwar era and an early champion of bebop, died on Saturday in Manhattan. He was 90.

Mr. Gitler’s criticism appeared regularly in publications like DownBeat and JazzTimes. He wrote two books about bebop, the challenging form of modern jazz that emerged in the 1940s. And, along with Leonard Feather and Nat Hentoff, he was among the most prodigious writers of liner notes, annotating more than 700 albums.

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James Ingram, a Hitmaking Voice of ’80s R&B, Dies at 66

January 30, 2019

James Ingram, whose voice — technically precise, crisp and reserved, yet full of audacious feeling — made him one of the defining singers of R&B in the 1980s, has died. He was 66.

The actress and choreographer Debbie Allen, a frequent collaborator with Mr. Ingram on musical theater projects, announced his death on Twitter on Tuesday, calling him her “dearest friend and creative partner.”

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Michael Jackson Musical to Open in Chicago

January 29, 2019

The Michael Jackson musical is taking its first steps onto the dance floor. The show’s producers announced Wednesday that the project, now titled “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” will have an initial production this fall in Chicago, running Oct. 29 to Dec. 1 at the James M. Nederlander Theater.

The musical will focus on the period of time leading up to Jackson’s “Dangerous World Tour,” which began in 1992.  It will feature a book by Lynn Nottage, a two-time Pulitzer winner for the plays “Ruined” and “Sweat,” and direction and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, who won a Tony Award for the choreography of “An American in Paris.”

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