Paths to find love, happiness traveled in ‘Sweet Charity’

Entertainment helps keep students and faculty at ease, especially during this time in the semester with finals approaching. One way students, faculty and staff can take a break from studying, doing projects or grading papers is to see a musical dance show.

The department of theatre and dance will be showing a rendition of Neil Simon’s ‘Sweet Charity’ starting with opening night Wednesday at 8 p.m. and continuing everyday at 8 p.m. with two shows on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The show is about a young woman named Charity who is living in New York City and working as a dance hall hostess at the Fandango Ballroom. The storyline is based on her search for love and happiness and tells the story of her travels through New York City and all the “characters” she meets and hangs out with along the way.

Bob Fosse is the original director and choreographer of the show when done on Broadway.

“He is such an icon, I tried to follow in his footsteps and recreate it as much as possible,” said Jonathan Charles, the director of the show.

There are approximately 35 actors and actresses cast for this show.

“It has been a lot of work [because] we started at the beginning of the semester rehearsing everyday three hours a day [and] sometimes on weekends,” said senior Denise Williamson, who plays Carmen and is one of the lead dancers.

Senior Blythe Herring, the lead in the show playing Charity Hope Valentine, said it has been crazy and a long time coming because everyone has worked so hard.

“Opening night jitters are always there, but it is coming together like it always does,” said Blythe.

Junior Jeff Barba, playing the male lead as Oscar, said it has been a challenging and long rehearsal process for him.

“I am really nervous about opening night because it is a comedy, and we don’t know how the audience will react to what we are doing,” said Barba.

Charles said the whole show is set in the late 1960s to early 1970s.

“The show is very indicative of that time period,” he said.

The show was first produced in 1966 on Broadway and was later made into a movie in 1969.

“I think everyone should come and see it because it is a really good example of dance style musical theatre [and] is a nice tribute to [Fosse],” said junior Dylan Godwin, who plays Vittorio Vidal.

The show hopes to keep the audience entertained with the dancing, singing and comedy inserts. There is an unexpected ending; however, Charity never gives up in her pursuit of happiness.

In the words of the director Charles, “everyone needs to come and see the show.”

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