Wayne Cilento Set to Choreograph Revival of Dance Hall Musical Sweet Charity

News   Wayne Cilento Set to Choreograph Revival of Dance Hall Musical Sweet Charity
Choreographer Wayne Cilento — who lent his talents to the current Broadway stagings of Wicked and Aida — will next take on the upcoming Broadway revival of the dance-heavy Sweet Charity.

"I worked with Wayne on Golden Boy and we had such a fantastic collaboration over at Encores!," Sweet Charity director Walter 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."

Cilento began his career as a performer in Broadway's Seesaw, Rachel Lily Rosenblum, The Act, Perfectly Frank, Irene, Big Deal, the original cast of A Chorus Line and his Tony Award-nominated performance in Bob Fosse's Dancin'. He has been Tony-nominated for his choreography of Dream, Baby, the revival of How to Succeed... and won for The Who's Tommy.

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 following out-of-town engagements yet to be decided. 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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