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‘Sweet Charity’


“Sweet Charity” is peak Bob Fosse, the absolute Fossiest of all Bob Fosse shows. The all-important choreography is a hypnotic, sinewy sizzling barrage of isolated undulations. The girls of the Fandango Ballroom are down for a party, and it’s not to sell Arbonne.

Wisely, director/choreographer Alex Sanchez keeps the sexed-up sensibility fueling Fosse’s original choreography intact in the Marriott Lincolnshire’s staging of “Sweet Charity.”...

...Charity (Anne Horak, all lithe grace and firecracker charisma) is young New Yorker with the fresh-faced appeal of a Noxzema commercial and an effortless sex appeal that make today’s supposed “It girls” (think the sisters Kardashian or Hadid) look like they’re trying way too hard.

Horak has a fabulously funny leading man in Alex Goodrich. As the nebbish, neurotic (but ultimately loathsome) Oscar, Goodrich has comic timing fine enough to set the atomic clock. Make note of their scene in a stalled elevator. When you watch Oscar melt into a puddle of claustrophobia-induced perspiration and weeping anxiety, you are watching a masterclass in funniness. You will be sad when the elevator finally lurches to a start.

Also upping the ante: the almighty powers of Kenny Ingram, who plays Daddy Brubeck, the leader of an underground church. Ingram’s Brubeck is magnificent cross of Alan Ginsberg, James Baldwin and early Cher, with a splash of Sammy Davis Jr. and Andy Warhol. He puts the rhythm in “The Rhythm of Life.” If all churches were led by Daddy Brubeck, more people would believe in Something Larger than themselves.

“Sweet Charity” also sounds terrific. Under musical supervisor Patti Garwood, Coleman’s score is positively groovy. The iconic opening of “Hey, Big Spender” (you know it: Bump-bump-a-dum-bump-bump!”) is ridiculously carnal, and the lush intricacies “Where Am I Going” gleam.

Hand-in-glove (or feet in go-go boots, if you prefer) with the music is Sanchez’s Fosse-inspired choreography and the cast’s execution of it. Horak’s verve and grace make “I’m a Brass Band” pulse with joy. The ensemble’s “Rich Man’s Frug” captures an Upper East Side soiree where the elite are determined to be cool as well as rich...