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Sweet Charity

Sweet Charity is a musical comedy with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon. It is based on Federico Fellini’s screenplay for Nights of Cabiria.

The original Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, opened on January 29, 1966 at the Palace Theatre and ran for 608 performances. It starred Gwen Verdon, John McMartin, Helen Gallagher, Thelma Oliver, James Luisi, Arnold Soboloff, and Sharon Ritchie.

The 1969 film version, Sweet Charity, also directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, starred Shirley MacLaine and John McMartin, re-creating his original Broadway role. A revival opened on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre on April 27, 1986 and closed on March 15, 1987, running for 369 performances. Again directed and choreographed by Fosse, Debbie Allen starred as Charity with Bebe Neuwirth as Nickie and Michael Rupert as Oscar. A second revival, starring television and film star Christina Applegate, opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on May 4, 2005. The show ended its Broadway run on December 31, 2005, after playing 279 performances.

Charity Valentine is the eternal optimist. While working at the seedy Fan-Dango ballroom, she is often taken advantage of and continually experiences bad relationships. Finally, she seems to have met a decent fellow in Oscar. Trying to hide her true profession, she lies to him and tells her that she works in a bank. Soon, Oscar asks Charity to marry him. Unfortunately, Oscar discovers Charity’s real profession and backs out of the marriage. Nevertheless, Charity continues to remain hopeful that good things will happen in her life.

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