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The musical is translated to an American context by Neil Simon from a Frederico Fellini film, Nights of Cabiria, about an aging Roman prostitute. Sweet Charity opened in 1966 at Broadway's Palace Theatre with four-time Tony winner Gwen Verdon as Charity. Directed and choreographed by Fosse, the production was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and ran for 608 performances. A film version followed in 1969 starring Shirley MacLaine. Sweet Charity was revived in 1986 with Debbie Allen in the lead and took 4 more Tonys, but, sadly, Fosse died shortly afterwards.
The stylised fable of a "tart with a heart" has never lost its lustre to the passage of time. The show reflects themes of the 60's, including the clash of 1950's morality with emerging individualism. Posse's overall conception and staging devices were innovative in their period, but the songs retain universal appeal. "Big Spender" and "If They Could See Me Now" remain among the most recognizable Broadway show-stopper.
Book by Neil Simon. Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorrothy Fields. Based on the original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, and Ennio Flaiano.
Director: Cameron-Lewis, Ron
Choreographer: Saunders-Herron, Gillian
Musical Director: Christopher Mounteer
Sheridan Hall, Sheridan
Sweet Charity, Theatre Sheridan, musical theatre
Theatre and Performance Studies
Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Department of Visual and Performing Arts
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Theatre Sheridan, "Sweet Charity, November 9 – 20, 2004" (2004). Theatre Sheridan Productions. 72.
Cameron-Lewis, R. (Director). (2004, February 9 – 20). Sweet Charity [Theatre Performance]. Oakville: Theatre Sheridan.