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Sweet Charity

Book: Neil Simon

Lyrics: Dorothy Fields

Music: Cy Coleman

ADAPTED from Nights of Cabiria, a film by Federico Fellini, Sweet Charity tells the story of an optimistic young woman, Charity, who not only wears her heart on her sleeve, she's had it tattooed to her arm! As the play begins, Charity finds herself dumped by the married man on whom she had pinned all her hopes and dreams, and she vows never again to be taken advantage of by a man. But Charity is too trusting and soon finds herself involved with an Italian movie star. The actor, however, is no better than the other men Charity has dated, and once again she finds herself jilted and alone. The next night, however, as fate would have it, she finds herself trapped in an elevator with a claustrophobic tax accountant who soon sweeps Charity off her feet. Soon it becomes clear that this man is different--that he actually wants to marry her--but will he still feel the same way when he finds out that Charity works at the Fan-Dango as a dance hall hostess?

SWEET CHARITY premiered at the Palace Theatre, New York, on January 29, 1966 with a cast that featured Gwen Verdon (Charity), John Mcmartin (Oscar), Thelma Oliver (Helene), James Luisi (Vidal), Arnold Soboloff (Daddy), and Sharon Ritchie (Ursala). The production, which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. The 1986 Broadway revival won Tony Awards for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Michael Rupert), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Bebe Neuwirth), and Best Costume Design (Patricia Zipprodt). The 1969 film version, also directed by Fosse, features Shirley MacLaine, Chita Rivera, John McMartin, Paula Kelly, Sammy Davis Jr., Ricardo Montalban, and Bud Cort.

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This document was written by J. Crabb and originally published on this website on April 5, 2002.

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