Cy Coleman's Charity, which was originally directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse, is set to premiere in February 2005 in Minneapolis. As previously reported, Walter Bobbie will direct the production, with choreography by Cilento.
In a recent interview, director Bobbie told Playbill On-Line that Cilento would choreograph the production. "I worked with Wayne on Golden Boy, and we had such a fantastic collaboration over at Encores!," Bobbie said. "We've wanted to work together again and I love Wayne. He's worked with [choreographical legends Bob] Fosse and [Gower] Champion and [Michael] Bennett and he understands all of their vocabulary completely and [the show's] wonderful sexuality."
About the upcoming project, Cilento told Playbill On-Line at the Tony Nominees press luncheon, "It's going to be a challenge. It's basically marked with Bob Fosse's stuff, which is not a bad thing. I feel like I'll be true to him without copying him. It will be the flavor, but hopefully I'll add a new thing to it. We'll see. It's going to be a challenge."
Sweet Charity is a quirky, romantic, urban musical comedy about a dance-hall hostess with a heart of gold. It includes such songs as "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. A 1986 Broadway revival (overseen by Fosse, who died shortly after) starred Debbie Allen.
Wayne Cilento, currently Tony-nominated for his Wicked choreography, won a Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Who's Tommy. He also choreographed the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and the Disney hit Aida. Cilento will also direct and choreograph the Broadway-bound musical Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, which will play the Pasadena Playhouse this fall.