Sweet Charity, Inspired by Fellini Film, Finally Gets Its Italian Premiere

News   Sweet Charity, Inspired by Fellini Film, Finally Gets Its Italian Premiere
Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields’ Fellini-inspired Broadway musical Sweet Charity will enjoy its premiere in Federico Fellini’s home country May 5, when Compagnia della Rancia’s new production opens its four-week engagement at Milan’s Teatro della Luna.

The leading role of Charity Hope Valentine will be played by Lorella Cuccarini, a popular television entertainer (for years she starred in a commercial in which she claimed that she—as well as the kitchen furniture she was advertising—was “the most beloved one by Italians”).

This production marks the return of Cuccarini to musical theatre, after she created the role of Sandy in the first Italian production of Grease back in 1997, a show which is still on the road and has since then become the best-selling musical ever in Italy (with the exception of Notre Dame de Paris, which never played traditional theatres but only large exhibition and sport arenas).

Lorella Cuccarini will be joined by Cesare Bocci in the role of Oscar, Carlo Reali, Crescenza Guarnieri, Adelaide Bitonto and Gianni Nazzaro.

Sweet Charity is based on Federico Fellini’s masterpiece “Le notti di Cabiria,” whose script was written by Fellini himself, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano. The original production opened on Broadway in 1966 with Gwen Verdon and John McMartin. The show enjoyed Broadway revivals in 1986, with Debbie Ellen, Michael Rupert and Bebe Neuwirth, and again in 2005, with Christina Applegate and Denis O’Hare. A film version was produced in 1969 with Shirley McLaine, Mc Martin, Chita Rivera, Paula Kelly, Ricardo Montalban and Sammy Davis, Jr.

The creative team for the Italian production of “Sweet Charity” comprises Saverio Marconi (director), Luca Tommassini (choreographer), Alessandro Camera (set designer), Francesca Schiavon (costume design), Chriss Ellis (lighting designer), Carlo Marchiori (sound designer), and Giovanni Maria Lori (music director). The book has been translated in Italian by Michele Renzullo, while the Italian lyrics have been written by Silvio Testi. Among the Italian song titles one finds “Non ci crederanno mai” (“If My Friends Could See Me Now”), “Per nuovi domani” (“Too Many Tomorrows”), “Sono l’uomo con più fegato” (“I’m the Bravest Individual”) and “Mi commuovono I confetti” (“I Love to Cry at Weddings”). The title of the show’s most famous number, “Big Spender,” has not been translated in the Playbill.

This is not the first encounter between director Saverio Marconi and Federico Fellini’s acclaimed movie. Marconi’s Compagnia della Rancia produced, back in 1998, “Le notti di Cabiria,” a musical comedy which featured an original score by Gianluca Cucchiara, lyrics by Chiara Noschese and a book by Saverio Marconi and Maurizio Porro.

Further information is available on the show’s website at www.sweetcharity.it.

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