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Sweet Charity

Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Funny, Great acting
83
Critics
76
50 reviews
Members
85
242 reviews
 

Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster stars in The New Group's revival of this classic musical about a sassy yet naive dance hall hostess whose overeager embrace of every man she meets lands her in hot water.

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Fifty years after it debuted on Broadway, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields' musical is revived in an intimate setting. The production features new choreography by Tony nominee Joshua Bergasse ('On the Town') and direction by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman ('Violet,' 'Well'), who brings a fresh, modern perspective to the age-old story of a woman who thinks she needs a man to save her.

 

Cast & Creatives (24)



Reviews (292)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
76
Avg Score

70
The New York Times

"Foster makes the role of Charity so completely and convincingly her own, even if the production in which she appears rarely offers her support to match. (The exception is a wonderfully sadsack Shuler Hensley.)...The overall production exists principally as a serviceable frame for Ms. Foster’s portraiture. Mr. Bergasse is less assured doing Fosse. Though he has come up with some affecting choreography for Charity, should-be showstoppers lack satiric oomph." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"This intimate mounting seamlessly welds comedy to tragedy with the help of one of the musical theater's great leading ladies, Sutton Foster...The production benefits from a stellar supporting cast...Everyone in the small ensemble takes on several parts with committed vigor...Not everyone will be pleased with some of Silverman's choices, especially musical purists...Still, Silverman strikes at the story's essence in this scaled-down revival starring a first-rate actress who really gets it." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

"Director Leigh Silverman absolutely nails it...It works beautifully and allows the top-notch evening of musical comedy that precedes to finish with a heartwarming glow...Simon's book is full of the kind of smart, urban wit that made his name a comedy genre...This is a 'Sweet Charity' where the book gets a real workout. There's still the lively zest of sharply written musical comedy, but Silverman, Foster, Hensley and company make sure the fragile heart beneath the fun gets its say." Full Review

80
Variety

"Dancing is what you get a lot of in this modest but smartly staged production...Silverman’s production captures the air of wised-up innocence that defines the woolly era of the early ’60s. Charity is very much a child of her time, and Foster is just plain marvelous at conveying her yearning to fit in and belong. While a fine supporting cast are strongest in the dance department, there’s a sense that they have all seen the future and found it less fun than it was cracked up to be." Full Review

70
Time Out New York

"There’s an argument to be made for this approach, but it would require a darker and more specific production than the rest of what director Leigh Silverman has assembled...Yet there’s much to enjoy in this 'Sweet Charity,' starting with the musical itself. The songs are top-notch; Neil Simon’s book still earns laughs. And Foster’s will-to-spunkiness is a terrific match for Charity. But if this revival has a future, it should fill out to meet its ambitions." Full Review

45
New Yorker

"You keep hoping that, despite early signs of limpness, it won’t be drained of all its energy and sentiment by the end. But the director, Leigh Silverman, is adept at throwing ash on soap bubbles. The problem is that she’s too serious about theatre; she wants her shows to count—to have a moral purpose...Instead of trusting in and directing the flow of Foster’s natural wellspring of talent, she set out to dam it." Full Review

80
New York Magazine / Vulture

"In the stripped-down and stirring revival starring the astonishing Sutton Foster, Silverman has in many ways succeeded...This one never lets you forget that it is fundamentally about women endangered by men, poverty, and a lack of education…Without that Broadway lift, ‘Sweet Charity’ risks seeming leaden and grubby…Hollowness is unavoidable here...Silverman’s work with Foster is extraordinary. Together, they get the most out of the complicated comedy of scenes." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"This new 'Charity' is built around an irrepressibly delectable Sutton Foster, who gives the show a refreshingly different flavor and thoroughly wins the day…This production of 'Charity' has been conceived and staged not as a grand Fosse musical, but as a Neil Simon comedy. Which, in retrospect, it is....Georgia Stitt leads a ferocious all-girl ensemble, and they truly rock. Foster’s performance is by no means the sole attraction of this friendly 'Sweet Charity.'" Full Review

80
The Guardian (UK)

"The resplendent Sutton Foster often movingly suggests the dark side to Charity’s perpetual sunniness…The material doesn’t hold up especially well. The sexual politics are obviously dated and so is Simon’s awkward vernacular…The plot is noodly and digressive, but then again that mirrors the heroine and it’s part of her charm. The Coleman and Fields songs are still pretty good…How bleak can a piece really be with the smile and voice and legs of Sutton Foster vibrating at its center?" Full Review

80
DC Theatre Scene

"Its book by Neil Simon is dated and improbable, with a series of comic set pieces that only occasionally land. But its score by Cy Coleman holds up. The choreographer Joshua Bergasse, the spot-on five-piece band, and the design team all work together to scale down this big Broadway musical appropriately. Best of all, the performances are terrific. Few regular theatergoers would be surprised by the charmingly daffy portrayal of Charity by Sutton Foster." Full Review

45
Lighting & Sound America

"The production coasts on the charms of its somewhat miscast star, Sutton Foster, guaranteeing a good time...But the director, Leigh Silverman, has opted to turn 'Sweet Charity' inside out, an approach that does little more than expose what was always weak about the musical while failing to capitalize on its many strengths...Silverman's approach is an honest attempt at improving a show that has a number of built-in weaknesses, but her solutions prove equally problematic." Full Review

75
Theatre's Leiter Side

“Although Charity perpetually struggles to find a man to love and marry...the audience has no trouble falling for Foster, even in a production that has a few problems...Foster receives capable support from Asmeret Ghebremichael and Emily Padgett as Nickie and Helene. Joel Perez does very nicely in four distinct roles, and Shuler Hensley squeezes the square Oscar for every laugh he's worth...But the minute she walks on the stage you can tell that she's a real big talent, a gal of distinction.” Full Review

85
The Hollywood Reporter

"Foster and Silverman bring comparable insight to 'Sweet Charity.' They embrace the goofy, big-hearted openness of the title character, but also the bleakness of her reality...If the approach falls short of revelatory, that's perhaps because this flawed show can never seem complete without Fosse's dance moves…It could use a bit more oomph in the choreography. But the crucial component that requires zero improvements is Foster's gorgeous performance. She's perfection." Full Review

90
The Wall Street Journal

"This new version is the best production imaginable, and Foster is giving the performance of a lifetime in the title role. I’ve never seen her do anything better—and that’s really saying something...Emotionally convincing to the highest degree, starting with Foster’s performance...Since the other members of the cast are good enough not to be swamped by her, the result is not an unbalanced tour de force but a dramatically convincing presentation of a musical whose flaws can only be overcome." Full Review

45
Talkin' Broadway

"An odd, occasionally schizophrenic show that's been difficult to get right...Bergasse hasn't established a consistent vernacular the way Fosse did; too often, his choreography looks like a bunch of unrelated bits pasted together. Much of Leigh Silverman's production feels like that, though...She wants to have it both ways, but differently than the book and score do. Worst of all, in fooling with the ending, she's neutered the title character's defining optimism." Full Review

85
Front Row Center

"As a pure reconstitution of a remarkable musical, it is a triumph...Silverman retains all that was wonderful about 'Sweet Charity' as a heel-kicking, brassy musical. It is the grim reality of the present—that we are all about to be slammed back to those days, when misogyny was just the way it is—that gives the audience pause. That aside, there are no dead spots in this show...Foster is so good at everything." Full Review

60
New York Daily News

"Director Leigh Silverman seemingly seized upon the following exchange between Charity’s fellow 'taxi dancers' to set the tone for this stripped-back, bare-bones New Group revival. 'Hello. I’m Rosie,' says a newbie. 'Not for long you ain’t," comes the reply...No room for hope or optimism or rosy-colored glasses. Even with great tunes like 'Big Spender'...Charity’s grimmer than usual end startles. More like, Sour Charity." Full Review

85
Deadline

"Another career-making performance by Sutton Foster...Hensley knocks it out of the admittedly tiny ballpark...But that too is one of the things making this revival exceptional...These practiced bodies are all but in our faces much of the time, which has the odd effect of making the story that much more tough-minded without relinquishing its poignance...Foster's is a beautiful performance in a grown-up, revelatory revival." Full Review

80
CurtainUp

"Even the invaluable New Group's smartly streamlined new production must contend with Neil Simon's fragile (and nowadays dated) book. Fortunately, there's nothing flimsy about the jazzy score and tremendously witty lyrics...This is very much an intimate ensemble show that's mounted in a modest-size theater. That means it doesn't lend itself to a lot of jaw-dropping theatrical pyrotechnics but relies on A+ work the whole cast. And A+ work is exactly what's on offer." Full Review

90
Theatre Reviews Limited

"Unique, brilliantly cast, impeccably staged, and discovers the deep, rich underbelly of this musical that seems to have escaped notice until now...The musical peels away the layers of Charity’s past revealing her vulnerability and her less explored – but equally evident – inner strength...Under Leigh Silverman’s sharp direction, the members of the impressive cast deliver authentic performances animated with deep honesty and endearing charisma...Joshua Bergasse’s choreography is stunning." Full Review

85
Front Mezz Junkies

"The musical is filled with priceless musical and dance numbers. One gem after another, ripe for stylized choreography and fun musical vocalizations...Both director Leigh Silverman and Bergasse have to find a way to satisfy our expectations and also place their own personal stamp on it. in general I think they succeed. Pretty well...The real excitement in this show is the dancing. And this is where the show flips back and forth from excellent to good...The show still shines bright regardless." Full Review

60
Theater In The Now

"Silverman took a drastic turn in her interpretation. Silverman avoided the typical musical theater approach, infusing a methodology that makes more sense when staging a straight play. Her scene work was profound. But this is, at the end of the day, musical comedy...If you’re a purist, this is not the production for you. If you’re looking for a little grit in your musical comedy, this may be the 'Sweet Charity' you’ve been waiting for. Overall, it was a little too lukewarm for my liking." Full Review

93
TheaterScene.net

“The real reason to see the new ‘Sweet Charity’, its third major New York revival, is for Sutton Foster's bravura performance. Aside from nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in ‘Anything Goes’, Foster has usually played innocent, clean-cut young women caught up in unusual situations. Here she again plays to type - but with a difference. … Under Leigh Silverman's direction, Foster may just be the most convincing actress to ever play Charity.” Full Review

60
Newsday

"The production has a sleek, tacky charm…Foster is a spectacular dancer and all-around musical virtuoso…Although her character spends most of the show with a cloying optimism, Foster somehow never has a phony moment. ‘Sweet Charity,’ of course, has a few dark and delightful songs…Bergasse’s functional choreography can’t keep us from missing Fosse. With Silverman trying to make Charity’s story real, the show’s senseless scenes and songs feel more irrelevant than ever." Full Review

75
Bob's Theater Blog

"While Bergasse has demonstrated talent elsewhere, he is no Fosse. Sutton Foster, while one of the most talented actresses in musicals, is no Gwen Verdon...Her perkiness is tiring, but she demonstrates a real flair for physical comedy. The always watchable Shuler Hensley makes a fine Oscar, the man she hopes will be her rescuer. Joel Perez is a standout in all four of his roles. The racially mixed ensemble is very good...Despite some reservations, I did not regret seeing this production." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

45
Quirky, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Dated

See it if ...oh, don't see it. Sutton is wrong, wrong, wrong, and the direction is terrible. A few good performances but that's it.

Don't see it if you're expecting a fresh, smart production of this play. This one's not it.

87
Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Great singing

See it if SUTTON FOSTER

Don't see it if who wouldnt want to see Sutton sing and tap??

83
Scaled down reboot of a classic

See it if Face it.. it's all about seeing Sutton Foster, up close and she is AMAZING!

Don't see it if If you want a big, splashy Broadway version of this classic musical. It's in a tiny theater with minimal sets & costumes--the cast makes it

72
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy Sutton and like this old style musical

Don't see it if you don't like shows of that era - it is a bit weird.

68
Delightful, Overrated, Slow

See it if you're a fan of Sutton Foster. She sparkles in this production with her usual charm. Ensemble is also great.

Don't see it if you're expecting to be blown away. It's a small production so some of the numbers felt small and underdone.

83
Funny, Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if you love Sutton Foster. She is fully committed, comically gifted, and a joy to watch. The ensemble is earnest and talented, as well.

Don't see it if you find the material old/annoying. There is some relevance as women are still held to a different standard, but the purity theme is dated.

80
Funny, Entertaining, Sweet, Charming musical comedy

See it if You like musicals, and want to see Sutton Foster in a truly great performance. While the rest of the cast is superb, she carries the show.

Don't see it if You want something edgy or modern. This is well within the musical theater canon, and a strong production of a charming and fun show.

85
Funny, Delightful, Refreshing, Romantic, Tuneful

See it if Sutton F. was wonderfully spunky. The music and dancing were catchy. The theme was timeless: I could identify with Sweet Charity!

Don't see it if You're not a romantic at heart. Substitute "strip club" for "dance hall" to bring the setting up to date.

75
Absorbing, Delightful, Romantic, Sweet

See it if you want to watch a downtrodden (but quirkily endearing) woman try to pull herself up by her bootstraps. Or if you just love Sutton Foster.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the downtrodden, in the quirkily endearing, or in Sutton Foster.

Also Sutton Foster is the entire show. The rest of the cast – with the exce... Read more Read less

100
Funny, Delightful, Edgy, Romantic, Great staging

See it if you want to see a classic musical reinvented and performed by the best.

Don't see it if you don't like intimate venues or minimalist theatre

Also Sutton Foster is perfectly cast and shines so bright in this role. She... Read more Read less

86
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky

See it if you love Sutton Foster (and who doesn't). This is a great opportunity to see her up close and at her best.

Don't see it if you are expecting a big Broadway stage.

79
Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Agree with comments below. Sutton Foster is great in the role.

Don't see it if if you are familiar with Fosse's original choreography you might be disappointed. Some directing/design issues.... (and THAT wig!)

70
Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You adore Sutton Foster (I do) but she is terribly miscast here, you don't remember the Fosse choreography (I do), unfortunately.

Don't see it if You don't want to be dispirited by a skeletal revival that fails to deliver the necessary grit to make SC a truly compelling character.

77
Great acting, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if A Charity Hope Valentine for the Trump era Foster delights in Silverman's seriously downscaled version of the Fosse/Verdon classic vehicle

Don't see it if Bergasse's cheorography more Robbins than Fosse Coleman/Fields score still charms Simon's book hoary Sutton shines as her own 'brass band'

84
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if if you wish to see a great performance from Sutton Foster.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals.

100
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Masterful, Raunchy

See it if You want a complete well rounded show.

Don't see it if Raunchy shows make you uncomfortable

79
Great acting, Relevant, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see Sutton Foster lead a spectacular company. She's fantastic, as is the rest of the cast (particularly Joel Perez).

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of SWEET CHARITY. The show honestly doesn't make a ton of sense.

Also There's an all-lady band, which is very exciting! Leigh Silverman did ... Read more Read less

82
Funny, Delightful, Dated, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love the musical or want to see Sutton Foster up close and if you're OK with a very stripped down production

Don't see it if you want great choreography or costume design, or if a bare bones production of what should be a lavish and showy musical would bother you

79
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you can get tickets. Sutton Foster is wonderful.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy scaled down musicals in small venues.

75
Ambitious, Intelligent, Disappointing, Entertaining, Star-driven

See it if you want to see Sutton Foster up close & personal. She is wonderful. Appreciate the attempt to update the book-needs more. Less Bway comedy.

Don't see it if you've never liked the score. Characters playing multi-roles can be confusing. Book can go further in capturing Charity's essence.

93
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like musicals that make you feel thaty are part of it Sutton Foster is a winer Having seen the original and the revival about 10 .. cont

Don't see it if You cannot handle being THERE with the dance hall hostesses.

Also years ago we feel that the intimate theater makes this the winner. The... Read more Read less

78
Funny, Quirky, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if your goal is to see Sutton Foster. She does a great job, but the production value of the show is low which doesn't suit the score.

Don't see it if you want to be uplifted. Sweet Charity in a deconstructed produdction just tends to emphasize how sad the whole thing is.

88
Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Must see, Entertaining

See it if you want to be entertained/wowed by a wonderfully talented cast lead by Sutton Foster. Unique, intimate setting makes it even more unique.

Don't see it if are looking for a large scale production, even so Sutton Foster gives a powerhouse performance & that alone makes this a must see.

85
Funny, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You admire Sutton Foster who is great in the show. A sweet score by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields.

Don't see it if You dislike seeing a woman mistreated by men.

85
Great acting, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a beautifully choreographed and performed production of a well known show

Don't see it if you don't want to see a 1960s show and the gender roles that implies.