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Bob Fosse Memorial Held at Palace Theater

October 31, 1987 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Laughter rocked Broadway’s Palace Theater Friday afternoon as friends of Bob Fosse, the dancer-choreographer-director who died Sept. 23 at age 60, recounted anecdotes about him for two hours.

The afternoon began with photographs of Fosse from childhood to Academy Award acceptance, clips showing Fosse’s choreography from the movies ″Sweet Charity,″ ″Cabaret,″ and ″All That Jazz″ and Fosse’s own final dancing in a film, as the snake in ″The Little Prince.″

Fred Ebb sang and John Kander played piano for ″Razzle Dazzle ’em,″ which they wrote for ″Chicago.″ Peter Allen played piano and sang his composition, ″Everything Old Is New Again,″ which Ann Reinking danced in ″All That Jazz.″

Cy Coleman, composer of ″Sweet Charity″ and ″Little Me,″ which Fosse choreographed and directed, said that Fosse hated ballads. Coleman played and sang the parody of his ″Real Live Girl″ which he performed when Fosse received the George Abbott Award - ″Pardon me, Cy, but we’ve just said goodyby to your favorite song.″

Playwright Neil Simon said, ″Bob could make you test yourself to the limit. You wanted to be at your best. If you were going to go to lunch with him, you had to go for lunch someplace else first to break in your conversation.″

Playwright Herb Gardiner, who used to hang out with Fosse and the late Paddy Chayefsky, spoke last. He had the audience roaring over a treatment that threesome worked out for a sequel to ″King Kong″ in which Kong is ″just another 50-foot Hollywood has-been.″

Novelist Peter Maas called Fosse ″a civilized, gracious man.

″He treasured all his friends and we treasured him, as we should, because he was a national treasure.″