Sweet Charity begins in Morningside

October 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

Big Spenders Allegro open at Church Hill Theatre this week

Sweet Charity from Allegro with Lyndsay Hawkins, Alison Robertson, Jenna Lee, Lauren McLachlan, Emma Dawson, Emma Collins, Alison Wood, Sarah Gellatly, Ashley Grandison. Photo © Andrew Cowan

Sweet Charity from Allegro with Lyndsay Hawkins, Alison Robertson, Jenna Lee, Lauren McLachlan, Emma Dawson, Emma Collins, Alison Wood, Sarah Gellatly, Ashley Grandison. Photo © Andrew Cowan

By Thom Dibdin

Bob Fosse’s 1966 Broadway hit Sweet Charity, which follows the misadventures of a gullible New York dance hall hostess, arrives at the Church Hill Theatre this week thanks to local amateur company Allegro.

Featuring hits such as Big Spender, Rhythm of Life and If My Friends Could See Me Now, the musical was a hit on Broadway and made into a film staring Shirley MacLaine.

Allegro’s production opens on Tuesday and runs to Saturday. Fraser Jamieson, well known in Edinburgh amateur musical circles for his performances on stage, is in the director’s chair. Choreographer Caroline Howie returns to bring Fosse’s oroginal moves to the Church Hill stage, while the Musical Director is to be Finlay Turnbull.

“Bob Fosse was an extremely talented choreographer and director and the entire cast has worked hard to ensure we do his legacy justice.” says Allegro’s president Joni Smith. “The rehearsal period has as always been busy and hard work but it has also been great fun.”

Emma Dawson will be playing the role of Charity Hope Valentine, the guileless but eternally optimistic taxi dancer at the Fandango Ballroom. The role garnered Fosse’s wife Gwen Verdon one of the nine Tony nominations for the original production.

Oscar Lindquist, the straight-laced accountant who befriends Charity after they become stuck in an elevator together, will be played by Jonny Farley. And Harry Dozier is to play Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck, the leader of the dubious Rhythm of Life Church where they couple go on their first date.

“We are itching to get on stage ,” says Smith. “We can’t wait to bring that fun from rehearsals to the stage of the Church Hill. This is a high energy, fun filled show that is sure to leave the audience with a smile on their face at the final curtain.”

Allegro was formed in 1977 from the then Barclay Bruntsfield Drama Group. The intention of the company was to bring lesser known or rarely performed musicals to the attention of audiences for amateur theatre in Edinburgh. Last year’s production was four star hit The Wedding Singer.

The musical has music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Neil Simon’s book is an adaptation of Federico Fellini’s screenplay for his black and white Italian move, Nights of Cabiria. Charity’s profession is changed, however, from a prostitute to the slightly more acceptable taxi dancer –  hired to dance with their customers on a dance-by-dance basis in a dance-hall.

Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse the original starring his wife Gwen Verdon as Charity with John McMartin as Oscar. It premiered on Broadway in 1966 and was nominated for 9 Tony Awards. The 2005 Broadway revival staring Christina Applegate garnered three nominations and generated a much-lauded Cast recording.

Fosse also directed and choreographed the 1969 screen adaptation with Shirley MacLaine as Charity and John McMartin reprising his Broadway role as Oscar Lindquist.

Sweet Charity
Church Hill Theatre, 33 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4DR
Tue 15 – Sat 19 October 2013
Daily, 7.30pm (Sat mat 2.30pm)
Further details and ticket booking on: www.allegromusical.co.uk

Click here to buy the Sweet Charity soundtrack from Æ's Amazon shop

Click here to buy the Sweet Charity soundtrack from Æ’s Amazon shop

ENDS

 

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