Sweet Charity to Play the Hirschfeld Theatre

News   Sweet Charity to Play the Hirschfeld Theatre The upcoming Broadway revival of Sweet Charity, starring TV actress Christina Applegate in the role made famous by Gwen Verdon, will open at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre April 21, 2005.

Variety reports that the Cy Coleman musical, under the direction of Walter Bobbie, will begin previews at the Hirschfeld (the current home to Wonderful Town, which closes Jan. 30) April 4.

The industry paper also reports that several changes have been made to the musical, which features lyrics by the late Dorothy Fields and a book by Neil Simon. Among the alterations: a "surprise twist" to the musical's ending; the addition of "If There Were More People Like You," a Coleman-Fields tune penned for an unproduced musical, which will replace "I Love to Cry at Weddings"; and the return of "Charity's Soliloquy" — which had been cut in subsequent stagings and for the film version — to the show's first act.

The creative team for Sweet Charity comprises Wayne Cilento (choreographer), Scott Pask (set designer), William Ivey Long (costume design), Brian MacDevitt (lighting designer), Peter Hylenski (sound designer), Gordon Lowry Harrell (music director) and Don Sebesky (orchestrator).

As previously announced, the musical will play out-of-town engagements in Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston, before arriving on Broadway. 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. Barry and Fran Weissler are producing with Clear Channel Entertainment.

The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is located at 302 West 45th Street.

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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.

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