Broadway Bound Sweet Charity to Have Regional Debut in Minneapolis

News   Broadway Bound Sweet Charity to Have Regional Debut in Minneapolis
The upcoming Broadway revival of the dance-heavy Sweet Charity will first bloom in Minneapolis, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

According to the daily, the production will be cast and rehearse in New York, then come to Minneapolis for two more weeks of rehearsal before opening Feb. 8, 2005. The musical will then proceed to stints in Chicago and Boston.

Director Walter Bobbie recently told Playbill On-Line that Wayne Cilento would choreograph the production. "I worked with Wayne on Golden Boy and we had such a fantastic collaboration over at Encores!," Bobbie told Playbill On-Line. "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."

Set designer Scott Pask (Nine, Take Me Out) has signed on and costume designer William Ivey Long (Hairspray, Twentieth Century) is also on board, according to Bobbie.

Christina Applegate — of "Married with Children" fame —is set to star in the title role of Charity Hope Valentine, the part originated on Broadway by four-time Tony Award winner Gwen Verdon. The musical revival is slated to open on Broadway April 21, 2005. Barry and Fran Weissler will co-produce the production with Clear Channel Entertainment.

The revival will feature a revised book by Neil Simon as well as one new song added to the classic Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields score. 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. A 1986 Broadway revival (overseen by Fosse, who died shortly after) starred Debbie Allen.

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