I GOTCHA! -- Liza vs. Rachelle Rak vs. Shannon Lewis
Last Edit: DistantDrumming 03:03 am EST 01/10/21
Posted by: DistantDrumming 02:53 am EST 01/10/21

Okay, I'm a bad gay. Up until this week, I'd never seen Liza With A Z. I remedied that earlier this week when I needed to escape from the brutality of this week's news cycle for a couple of hours. And, of course, I loved it. When watching "I Gotcha" I was struck by how ahead of his time Fosse was in that number. It's not that I don't see references to the late 60s and early 70s; it's that it has this this muscularity and hyper sexual rhythm that eventually would make its way down to hip hop choreography. It's just such a stinkin' cool number.

And, Liza? What can one say about her? She's a force of nature there. And no one is going to match the power of her vocal performance. I think hers is the most delightfully sleazy of the performances, too. And I DO mean that as a compliment.

But, I decided to look up performances of the song from Fosse (the show) and stumbled upon Shannon Lewis performing the number on The Today Show. Lewis is such a terrific dancer and out of the performances I watched her dancing was perhaps the sharpest and most precise.

But, then I looked up Rachelle Rak's performance from when Fosse the show was recorded. And although I'm sure some people will find this ridiculous, she was my favorite of the three by far. Now, I know that the the Fosse (1999) performance is 'adapted from' Liza With a Z and not an exact replica. And all three women are clearly powerhouses and incredibly talented, but Rachelle's just knocked me out. Her dancing had such fire, such athleticism, such character without sacrificing the precision. It's sexy and funny and commanding all at once. It, at times, reminded me of Chita's dancing.

In the YouTube comments, I found this, which just tickled me...

"I love the story Rachelle Rak tells on the Gwen Verdon retrospective. Rachelle was originally an understudy to the original cast of Fosse and Gwen noticed her and they decided to make her the understudy for this song. After many notes, tips, and comments from Gwen, Rachelle did a run-through of this with Gwen sitting in the sound booth watch. Apparently Gwen told one of the assistant directors, "She's great! 100 percent trash!" Rachelle loved that comment and t-shirts were made. It's quite an achievement to receive a compliment from Gwen Verdon."
Link VIDEO: Rachelle Rak I Gotcha from Fosse

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