'Sweet Charity' Does Not Disappoint
Going out to the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is a long commute for us, however each time we’ve made this trip, we’ve been blessed to see some great theatrical plays, and Sweet Charity is another one that ranks as worth traveling to see.
Sweet Charity is a musical written by the great American playwright, screenwriter, and author, Neil Simon. Simon list of impressive Broadway plays reads like a who’s who; with amazing plays like Barefoot in the Park, and his Tony Award play “The Odd Couple.” His work quickly became a must-see event, when in 1966 he had four shows playing at Broadway theatres running simultaneously: The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park and Sweet Charity; which is the play where we find ourselves taking a fifty-mile trip to witness.
Sweet Charity, which is the story that is based on the screenplay for the Italian film called Nights of Cabiria, where a prostitute searches for love, however, the American version of this play is centered on a dancer for hire. Directed and Choreographed by Alex Sanchez, who focused the play of Charity’s courage, optimism and epiphanies throughout her life to show her positive outlook regarding life; and the play doesn’t disappoint.
The story of a young intuitive, often pledged by simple occurrences named Charity Hope Valentine is played by Anne Horak. Horak is very believable as Charity, the young girl looking for love that goes through the ups and seemingly more downs in life. Your heart will root for her and will cry when life throws her a few curves balls.
Charity, the sweet love-starved and hopeless romantic dance hall hostess is determined to change her life after being used by a former boyfriend. Join by a cast of characters at the Fandango Ballroom Horak as Charity was delightful and entertaining. Her ever optimistic and somewhat dingy personality played well as Charity, and even her singing and dancing was reasonably pleasing although a little awkward at times. Not to say, anything bad about her performance, because she brought the high energy, humor and the right amount of heartbreaking sadness to make you eager to see if Charity would ever find love on a two-way street.
Director Sanchez also does an excellent job with the casting of this play. Bringing in great dancers and performers made you feel like you were back in the 60’s; reliving the hay days of Sweet Charity. It also doesn’t hurt when you bring in Kenny Ingram, known for his role in The Lion King, to play the role of the enigmatic leader of the Rhythm of Life Church, Big Daddy Brubeck. Ingram magnetic personality and soulful voice brings life to this portion of the play and makes you want to see and hear more from him. You can only hope Ingram stays in Chicago and grace us with his theatrical skills.
We truly enjoyed the dance performances and the harmony of the classic songs like “Big Spender" and "There’s Got To Be Something Better,” with NaTonia Monet (Helene) and Dani Spieler (Nickie) which were spot-on. Kudos goes to Monet and Spieler for their performances in this play as well as to Terry Hamilton as Herman.
Horak did a number of songs and dance performances and her “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” was charming but the top performance goes to Alex Goodrich. Goodrich portrayal of Oscar was priceless! His performance in the elevator is worth a ticket for admission itself and the elevator scene still has us laughing.
The relationship and bond that Horak and Goodrich form in Sweet Charity is captivating, humorous and ultimately have you walking away feeling a little sad and heartbroken, but hey, that’s what good acting will do; and they both work their magic in this play.
Sweet Charity has been a musical since 1966 and has been performed throughout the world, so it’s not anything new under the sun here; but we feel you will genuinely enjoy seeing this 2 hours, 30 minutes performance.
Let’s Play highly recommends taking the trip to Lincolnshire’s Marriott Theatre to see Sweet Charity.