Tamzin Outhwaite to Star in Menier Chocolate Factory's Sweet Charity

News   Tamzin Outhwaite to Star in Menier Chocolate Factory's Sweet Charity Tamzin Outhwaite will play Charity Hope Valentine in the Menier Chocolate Factory's new production of the 1966 Broadway musical Sweet Charity, which is scheduled to begin performances Nov. 21 (prior to an official opening Dec. 2), for a run through March 7, 2010.
Tamzin Outhwaite
Tamzin Outhwaite

Matthew White will direct a cast that also includes Josefina Gabrielle, Tiffany Graves, Paul J. Medford, Ebony Molina and Mark Umbers.

With book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, the show follows the misadventures of love encountered by the gullible and guileless Charity Hope Valentine, a woman who always gives her heart and her dreams to the wrong man. Cy Coleman’s score features such standards as "Hey, Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now" and "The Rhythm of Life."

Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, Sweet Charity premiered at Broadway's Palace Theatre in 1966, where it ran for over 600 performances, featuring Gwen Verdon as Charity. In 1967 the production opened in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre, starring Juliet Prowse. The 1969 film version, also directed and choreographed by Fosse, starred Shirley MacLaine and John McMartin. In 1986 Fosse's production was revived at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre, with Debbie Allen as Charity, winning four Tony Awards, and again in 2005 in a new production directed by Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Wayne Cilento, starring Christina Applegate as Charity. It was last seen in the West End in a short-lived production at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998, starring Bonnie Langford.

The Menier's new production is choreographed by Stephen Mear, with set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Matthew Wright, musical supervision and direction by Nigel Lilley, orchestrations by Chris Walker, lighting by David Howe and sound design by Gareth Owen.

Outhwaite was last seen on the London stage in the original cast of Matthew Warchus' revival of Boeing-Beoing. Other London theatre credits include Breathing Corpses and Flesh Wound for the Royal Court and Oliver! at the London Palladium. Josefina Gabrielle has recently been seen in the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park production of Hello, Dolly! She appeared as Laurie in the National's production of Oklahoma! that later played the West End and Broadway. Other West End credits include The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), The Witches of Eastwick (Prince of Wales), Chicago (Adelphi) and Fame (Cambridge).

Tiffany Graves has appeared most recently in Chicago (Cambridge Theatre), and Shout! at the Arts. Paul J. Medford was an original company member of Five Guys Named Moe at the Lyric Theatre. Ebony Molina's most recent stage credit is Adam Cooper's Shall We Dance at Sadler’s Wells. She has also appeared in Dorian Gray, Nutcracker!, The Car Man and Edward Scissorhands, all for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company. Mark Umbers has most recently been seen in the ITV1 drama "Mistresses" and he has just finished filming the BBC 1 re-working of "The Turn of the Screw" to be shown at Christmas. His theatre credits include Funny Girl for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Glass Menagerie at the Apollo Theatre, The Vortex for the Donmar Warehouse and My Fair Lady, Candide and The Merchant of Venice for the National Theatre.

Director Matthew White has previously directed The Last Five Years and Little Shop of Horrors at the Menier. The latter production transferred to the West End's Duke of York's and New Ambassadors Theatres, and recently completed a UK National tour.

The Menier Chocolate Factory is currently represented in the West End by its production of La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse, which is also Broadway-bound, and its production of A Little Night Music transferred to the West End's Garrick Theatre and is also now Broadway-bound.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 17 at noon. To book tickts, contact the box office at 020 7907 7060 or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com.

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