This winter, Broadway’s sassiest hopeless romantic Charity Hope Valentine will return to the stage just in time for the musical’s 50th anniversary. Charity is the title character of the 1966 musical Sweet Charity, which credits some of Broadway’s best: music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, choreography by Bob Fosse and a book by Neil Simon based on Federico Fellini’s film Nights of Cabiria. Fosse’s wife Gwen Verdon debuted the role of Charity—the overly optimistic dance-hall girl looking for love in New York City. The musical is legendary for Fosse’s choreography, which won him a Tony Award. Fosse went on to direct a film version of the musical in 1969, which starred Shirley MacLaine as well as Chita Rivera and Sammy Davis Jr. While the film was a box office failure, the stellar performances and dance numbers remain classics.
The New Group’s production of Sweet Charity will be directed by Leigh Silverman with choreography by Joshua Bergasse (On the Town). Silverman and Foster also collaborated for the musical Violet, which won Foster a Tony Award. Foster’s credits range widely from the TV shows “Younger” and “Bunheads” to musicals such as Shrek the Musical, Young Frankenstein, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Drowsy Chaperone and Anything Goes. Given the amazing roles Foster has played it will be thrilling to see her play Charity, who she said is her dream role in an interview with Broadway.com.
This production is unique in that the audience will have a very intimate experience with the actors as it will be performed in the round in a small theatre. Sutton Foster herself said that this will take some of the “razzle-dazzle” away from the show and bring out some of the more melancholy aspects. However, with hit songs and glamorous dance numbers like “Big Spender,” Sweet Charity is sure to bring plenty of charm to the stage. The musical is running from now until January 2nd so don’t miss your chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of Broadway’s great musicals.