As reported by Playbill On-Line in October, Marisa Tomei will play the title dreamer in a new revival of the musical Sweet Charity intended for Broadway. Now the New York Times reports that the production will open Aug. 17. No specific theatre has been named.
By opening in August, producers Fran and Barry Weissler and Clear Channel Entertainment are taking a page from the success of Hairspray, which opened in the doldrums of summer 2002 to become the biggest musical hit of the season.
Produced Fran Weissler confirmed the casting to Playbill On-Line, adding that Tomei—who is a credited dramatic and comedic stage actress, but is not known for her singing and dancing—auditioned for composer Cy Coleman and the revival's choreographer.
Since accepting the role in Charity, Tomei has bowed out of an Off-Broadway run of David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo, set to begin preivews at Manhattan Theatre Club Jan. 4, 2003. She is now playing the title role in a series of readings of Oscar Wilde's Salome starring Al Pacino, at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.
Tomei's last Broadway credit was the short lived revival of the thriller Wait Until Dark. Off-Broadway work includes Waiting for Lefty, Slavs!, and Demonology. Tomei won the Academy Award for "My Cousin Vinny." Her film career after that honor was erratic, but she has recently returned to form with praised performances in "The Slums of Beverly Hills," "What Women Want" and another Oscar-nominated turn "In the Bedroom." Sweet Charity was composed by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. The musical is based on the screenplay "Nights of Cabiria" by Federico Fellini. The most recent Broadway revival of Charity, about a good-hearted dance-hall hostess who attracts mainly bad luck, played the Minskoff Theatre in 1986-87 (directed and choreographed by the man who created the show, Bob Fosse; it would be one of his final directing jobs before his death). It starred Debbie Allen as Charity, Bebe Neuwirth as Nicky and Michael Rupert as Oscar. The 1966 original was conceived by Bob Fosse for wife Gwen Verdon, who played Charity. John McMartin played Oscar.
The score includes "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Big Spender," "Baby, Dream Your Dream," "Where Am I Going?," "I'm a Brass Band," "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" and "Rhythm of Life." A film version starred Shirley MacLaine.