If you want to forget your troubles and enjoy some wonderful musical theatre go see Sweet Charity. It is being presented as the inaugural production for the relaunch of REPRISE 2.0 dedicated to presenting crowd-pleasing theatrical gems. The show is playing at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse from Wednesday, June 20 to Sunday, July 1.
“Sweet Charity is just a blast of a musical because it’s big and fabulous. It has so many songs that everybody knows including ‘Big Spender’ and ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now.’ It is a collaboration of some of Broadway’s legendary talents with hilarious dialogue by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields,” said REPRISE 2.0 Producing Artistic Director Marcia Seligson.
“The original had Bob Fosse doing the choreography, but our REPRISE 2.0 production is directed and choreographed by one of Broadway’s most celebrated artists, three-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall,” added Seligson, herself a mighty force in the theatre world. “Plus, we have assembled the perfect cast, headed by Laura Bell Bundy, Barrett Foa and Jon Jon Briones. And we’ll have a full orchestra on stage conducted by Musical Director Gerald Sternbach to focus on the incredible score. Great shows need to be brought back and that’s what we’ll do with REPRISE 2.0. That was our goal when I started the original Reprise! 20 years ago.”
Charity Hope Valentine is played by Laura Bell Bundy, who was a Tony Award-nominee for Legally Blonde on Broadway. Barrett Foa, who most people from the drama NCIS: Los Angeles, also has impressive musical talents with Avenue Q and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among his credits.
“Sweet Charity is being presented with a groovy ‘60s vibe that has all the quirks of that era in gritty New York City, from dance hall hostesses to people finding the Rhythm of Life church on the eve of the sexual revolution,” explained Foa, who plays Charity’s boyfriend Oscar Lindquist. “Thanks to my character’s neurosis we ‘meet cute’ when I freak out on an elevator and she calms me down. Neil Simon is a genius packing the show with such great comedy and characters. Then there’s all the singing and dancing. This show has everything going for it.”
Seligson announced more rarely seen musical gems are coming for the REPRISE 2.0 2018 season with Carmen Cusack in Victor/Victoria (September 5-16), directed by Richard Israel, choreographed by John Todd, and Grand Hotel – The Musical (October 24-November 4) directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and choreographed by Kay Cole. All will be seen at UCLA’s intimate 586-seat Freud Playhouse in partnership with UCLA TFT’s Department of Theater.
Tickets for “Sweet Charity” are now on sale at Reprise2.org or by phone at (310) 825-2101. Subscription packages are available by phone at (866) 811-4111. See their ad on this week’s back cover.