Christina Applegate — of "Married with Children" fame — has landed the role of Charity Hope Valentine, the part created by four-time Tony Award winner Gwen Verdon. Variety reports that the musical revival will open on Broadway April 21, 2005. Barry and Fran Weissler will co-produce the production with Clear Channel Entertainment. And, as previously announced, Walter Bobbie will direct.
The industry paper also adds that the musical will tryout in Chicago, Boston and another city yet-to-be-named before it arrives on The Great White Way. Barry Weissler told Variety that the 2005 production will feature a revised book by Neil Simon as well as one new song added to the classic Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields score.
"They're also working out a different concept of the show," said the producer. "I won't know myself what works and what doesn't until we have rehearsals."
Applegate is one of many stars whose name has been attached to the project. Previous front-runners included Jenna Elfman, Marisa Tomei and Jane Krakowski. Said Weissler, "I was looking for the right person. And I found her. Christina is the right age and temperament, and she is a well trained dancer. She was the best dancer of all the stars we saw. Marvelous."
Best known for her role as Kelly Bundy in the FOX-TV series "Married with Children," Christina Applegate has also appeared in "Wonderland," "View from the Top," "The Sweetest Thing," "Prince Charming," "Just Visiting," "The Giving Tree," "Out in Fifty," "Jesse," "The Big Hit," "Mars Attacks!" and "Vibrations." Sweet Charity will mark Applegate's Broadway debut. Sweet Charity is a quirky, romantic, urban musical comedy about a dance hall hostess with a heart of gold. It includes such songs like "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. A film starred Shirley MacLaine as the innocent Charity, who lives hopefully ever after that she'll find a mate. A 1986 Broadway revival (overseen by Fosse, who died shortly after) starred Debbie Allen.