From the book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Field and the original choreography by the marvellous Bob Fosse, all legends in their own right, add up to make ‘Sweet Charity’ a true classic in the world of musical theatre. The show originally opened to rave reviews, winning a ‘Tony Award’ along the way, at the Palace Theatre, on Broadway in 1966. This was followed by an opening in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1967 again to sell out audiences starring the wonderful Juliet Prowse. In 1969 the film version with Shirley MacLaine in the lead role opened and once again received the highest critical acclaim. When the show was revived on Broadway in 1986 it won a further four Tony Awards and yet again in 2005.
It tells the story of Charity Hope Valentine, a dance hall hostess who literally wore her heart on her sleeve and always seems to put her trust and her dreams in the wrong men. Set in the 1960’s ‘Sweet Charity’ is the poignant wand funny tale of Charity who, despite her dead-end job working in the sleazy Fandango Night Club where she continually experiences bad relationships, still remains an incurable optimist. Finally, she seems to meet a decent fellow in Oscar Lindquist a very respectable insurance actuary who mistakenly believes she is a respectable girl who works in a bank. Oscar falls for Charity and she for him but a constant nagging remains in her mind as to what will happen if Oscar finds out the truth about her past. The show includes many favourite songs such as ‘The Rhythm Of Life’, ‘There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This’, ‘I’m A Brass Band’ and the showstopping ‘Hey, Big Spender’ all this, along with the fantastic ‘Bob Fosse’ style dance routines helps to make ‘Sweet Charity’ one of the all time classic stage musicals.