Broadway-Bound Sweet Charity Begins Rehearsals Dec. 27

News   Broadway-Bound Sweet Charity Begins Rehearsals Dec. 27 The new Walter Bobbie-helmed, Broadway-bound revival of the Cy Coleman musical Sweet Charity will begin rehearsals on Dec. 27.

The cast, headed by Christina Applegate as Charity, is working toward out of town engagements in Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston, leading to an April 21, 2005 opening on Broadway. Wayne Cilento choreographs.

As previously reported, Tony Award-winner Denis O'Hare will play the repressed Oscar Linquist, who falls for the vivacious taxi dancer Charity. O'Hare won a Tony Award for Take Me Out and was nominated for Assassins.

Ernie Sabella, Broadway veteran of such musical revivals as Guys and Dolls and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, will play Herman (played by Stubby Kaye in the movie). Also cast is Rhett George (Aida, Wicked) as hep cat evangelist Big Daddy. Both characters get to sing one big song. Herman, proprietor of the dance hall Charity works in, belts outs the 11-o'clock number "I Love to Cry at Weddings." The cameo part of Big Daddy, meanwhile, owns the show stopper, "Rhythm of Life." (Sammy Davis Jr. played it in the film version.)

Barry and Fran Weissler are producing with Clear Channel Entertainment.

* Sweet Charity is a quirky, romantic, urban musical comedy about a dance hall hostess with a heart of gold. It includes such songs like "Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Where Am I Going?" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This." The Neil Simon-Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields show from 1966 was a triumph for creator-director-choreographer Bob Fosse and actress Gwen Verdon. The 1969 film starred Shirley MacLaine as the innocent Charity. The 1986 Broadway revival (overseen by Fosse, who died shortly after) starred Debbie Allen, and toured with Donna McKechnie.