Sweet Charity Gets New Latin Rhythm in Harlem Beginning July 26

By Adam Hetrick
July 26, 2012

Sweet Charity, the Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields-Neil Simon musical about a New York City dance-hall girl looking for true love, takes on a new Latino cultural context in Harlem, introducing audiences to the character of Caridad, beginning July 26. 



Presented by New Haarlem Arts Theatre, Sweet Charity features actress Edlyn González as Charity/Caridad. Director Julio Agustin has re-envisioned the musical to reflect the changing roles of Latinos in the U.S. While the original book and score remain unchanged, Augustin's production promises a plot twist at the end.

Sweet Charity will run through Aug. 19. It will officially open July 28. Lainie Munro choreographs the 1960's-set production that promises to be "urban, edgy and contemporary."

The cast also features Dennis Wit as Herman, Cedric Leiba, Jr. as Vittorio, Jeff Wojcicki as Oscar, Aili Venho as Helene, Allicia Lawson as Nickie, Jasmine Romero as Ursula and Tiffany Caserta as Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck.

Completing the cast are Adam Aguilar Jimenez, Skizzo Armedillo, Wilber Escobar, Ehizoje Azeke, Anthony Martinez, Ari Stachel, Roberto Guzman, Timothy Chan and Bernard Johnson, Alexander Casasnovas, Amy Lee Sanchez, Kelly Rosado, Jade Eshete, Mabel Gomez, Monica Delgado, Maria del Mar Gonzalez, Shiori Ichikawa, Samantha Randolph, Trevania Campbell and Alyssa Gomez.

Musical director Brett Pontecorvo leads a six-piece orchestra, with musical supervision by Andre Danek. Sweet Charity has scenic design by Patrice Davidson, costume design by Mary Myers, lighting design by Thurston Reyes and sound design by Aman-re Jack.

Sweet Charity, featuring music by Coleman, lyrics by Fields and a book by Simon, is based on the 1957 Fellini film "Nights of Cabiria," which centered on a Roman prostitute. The 1966 Broadway musical took a softer approach, turning Cabiria into a hopeful dancer-for-hire named Charity and resetting the tale in Times Square.

The New Haarlem Arts Theatre is located at 135th Street and Convent Ave. For tickets, priced $30 (general admission), visit newhaarlemartstheatre.org.