The role is being beefed up in the revised revival being refined by composer Cy Coleman and librettist Neil Simon, the composer previously told Playbill On-Line. Oscar is expected to have a fresh song in the show, pulled from the trunk of songs penned by Coleman and the late lyricist Dorothy Fields.
In the 1966 original, inspired by the Fellini movie "Nights of Cabiria," Oscar meets Charity in a stalled elevator, where he has a panic attack. He becomes the first real prospect for true love that she's had in many years.
John McMartin originated the role and played it in the 1969 film. Michael Rupert played Oscar in a 1986-87 Broadway revival (and won a Tony Award). Both Broadway runs were overseen by original director-choreographer Bob Fosse.
In past productions, Oscar has sung the title song, which has lyrics by Fields (the song heard in the film and revival had a different melody than the song in the original production).
In it, Oscar is a self-professed "man with no dream and no plan" until he finds "sweet Charity." Christina Applegate ("Married With Children") will play Charity in the new Walter Bobbie-directed revival, which begins rehearsals in December toward out of town engagements in Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston leading to an April 21, 2005 opening on Broadway. Wayne Cilento choreographs.
O'Hare won a Tony Award for Take Me Out and was nominated for Assassins.
Of the Oscar role in Sweet Charity, O'Hare told Haun, "I did a workshop of it with Jane Krakowski so I already know what the part is going to feel like. He's kind of a funny nerd who ends up being not a nice guy. He's weak at the end, but humanly weak. It's a good journey. I only do dark musicals so, after Assassins and this, I'm done. There's not anything left. I've done all the dark ones."
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.