Closed 2h 20m
Sweet Charity
Midtown W
85

Sweet Charity NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(251 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
5%
Negative
0%
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Funny, Great acting

About the Show

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.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (251)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
80
Foster's great singing, Foster's great acting, Foster's great dancing, Dated show, Dreadful sightlines

See it if you love triple-threat Foster; she lights up the stage. Music is strong, but book dated. All-female band. Strong cast, but Oscar disappoints

Don't see it if you want Fosse's choreography. Or to be able to see action. Some songs are extraneous. Many jokes fall flat. But the joy of seeing SF! Read more

82
Great acting, Great singing, Fun, Entertaining

See it if you like Foster. Amazing performance. Powerful small production. Grittier, truer. Touching story.

Don't see it if You prefer more more varnished productions of this harsh reality. Choreography is not the best. Her costume is distractingly silly. Read more

Critic Reviews (50)

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 27th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"Charity was always a pretty great part. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a performer better equipped than two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster, whose vocal and dance skills are matched only by her gift for physical comedy. The top-notch supporting cast includes Shuler Hensley; Asmeret Ghebremichael and Emily Padgett as two tell-it-like-it-is Fan-Dango dancers; and the versatile Joel Perez in four roles. Did we mention this production is stripped-down?"
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 24th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"The new 'Sweet Charity' is obviously aimed at tourists who have never seen the show, or a generation in infancy when the original production opened. A clumsy movie version in 1969 did nothing to preserve fond memories. And neither does this new Off-Broadway revival with the brassy but lackluster Sutton Foster. Mediocre is its middle name...Foster works hard to make you feel like she’s not working hard but comes off best in the combustible numbers that come naturally."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 23rd, 2016

"Purists may balk, but director Leigh Silverman and her star, Sutton Foster, have given us a whole new reason to fall for that dance hall charmer Charity…The proximity allows for a visceral experience up close and very personal. As Charity, Foster once again pulls out all the stops, confirming her place in the pantheon of musical theatre stars. She breaks your heart...Equally entertaining, it cuts deep with a poignantly resonant message of empowerment and, yes, hope."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 28th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

December 28th, 2016

“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.”
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"It is absolutely a thrill to watch Foster up close…She’s winsome and utterly sincere as Charity expresses the happiness she feels at meeting one of her romantic silver screen idols…Leigh Silverman has assembled a large, ethnically diverse cast but even in a small space, the dance numbers don’t feel overstuffed or too busy…Although Simon’s book doesn’t entirely hold up, the show is improved by a stellar lead. You’ll be dazzled by the dancing and humming the catchy songs for days."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"The updated modern choreographic moves bring this 'Sweet Charity' into the 21st century under the skillful hand of Joshua Bergasse, and the entire production melds and morphs with knowing aplomb under the extremely competent direction of Leigh Silverman. Sutton Foster comes off as an irresistible joy, singing, dancing and displaying her comic chops in her au natural, this-is-me persona. She proves, once again, she can do anything."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

December 30th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

"In Leigh Silverman’s capable directorial hands, the excellent performances fill the space with the raw tensions of the story. Sutton Foster, no surprise, shines at the musical’s center…Foster is accompanied by a brilliant cast…Cy Coleman’s music lands laughs, aided and abetted by the skilled and hilarious choreography of Joshua Bergasse…'Sweet Charity' delivers with its hilarious and thought-provoking outlook on the life of its uniquely charming protagonist."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 22nd, 2016

"The largest achievement in The New Group’s revival (and it is a production brimming with achievements) is that the title character is somehow entirely believable…There is a seamless meld of actor and character that grabs the audience and does not let go…The singing is uniformly excellent…The production is smart and contemporary. If this ‘Sweet Charity’ has a life beyond its off-Broadway run, it will be a gift to the thousands of other people who will get to experience it."
Read more

T
December 30th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"Foster, evoking some of the best comedy shtick of the era in the spirit of Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball, is brilliantly on point with her comedic timing…Bergasse’s choreography dutifully nods to Fosse on occasion, but also breathes new life into famous dance sequences. But the evening belongs to Sutton Foster, who puts her stamp on one of the great musical comedy roles of the 20th century."
Read more

C
November 20th, 2016

"Smartly directed by Leigh Silverman, and designed with great ingenuity...Unsurprisingly, Foster brings her patented all-American optimism, to this difficult and iconic role...More importantly, Foster brings her equally flexible voice and legs to the often-bare stage, allowing her to perfectly land such beloved Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields songs as well as brilliantly execute Joshua Bergasse’s complex, tap-and-ballet-inspired choreography."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

“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.”
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

"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?"
Read more

B
November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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.'"
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"The extreme masochism of taxi dancer Charity Hope Valentine is a challenge, especially in 2016, but Foster turns the character’s commitment to being abused by men into a feminist statement while remaining a total delight to watch...From ballsy then to doormat now, the actress really can do anything...Foster, Silverman and Schuler Hensley turn dross into, if not gold, something more touching than a well-manufactured evening of musical-comedy glitter."
Read more

December 11th, 2016

"Foster comes through with wrenching vulnerability as the forlorn dance hall hostess, but also adds an appealing ability to fight back to survive...Foster’s performance deserves to go beyond this limited off-Broadway run, and so does this production directed by Leigh Silverman and smartly choreographed by Joshua Bergasse...There are numerous striking numbers...'Sweet Charity' a hard ticket, but if you can manage to book it, you’ll have a very entertaining time."
Read more

December 11th, 2016

"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."
Read more

December 14th, 2016

"Any production of 'Sweet Charity' needs a leading lady who can sing, dance, perform physical comedy and do it all while projecting a believable vulnerability. Foster delivers on all accounts...The rest of the show impressed me less...Silverman has tried to darken 'Sweet Charity.' But the darkening is hard to do when you've got a script laced with one-liners and the innate razzle dazzle that Fosse embedded in all his work."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"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."
Read more

November 22nd, 2016

"Witnessing Foster’s performance at arm’s reach feels like a rare privilege. But other elements of the close-quartered revival might benefit from more perspective…Even with a pared-down, somewhat darker approach, this tale rings a bit hollow...It’s a credit to Foster’s inimitable talent that she brings what nuance she can to a character that’s trapped by the pages she’s been written. The rest of the cast also turn in great performances."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

"The hit 1966 musical...is an unsettling case of high-spirited Broadway sentimentality imposed on an essentially dark and depressing book. In the pared-down revival, starring Sutton Foster, that emotional disconnection is particularly clear...Since Foster portrays this pathology with the clueless eagerness of a stray puppy...what we see comes across as masochism rather than optimism...When the musical is showcasing the rich Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields score, things mostly go well."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"Lighting up that ersatz swingathon is Sutton Foster, who invests the titular Charity with irresistible goofy charm and displays comic talents reminiscent of Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe...Alas, the second act never attains such comic heights as even Foster cannot overcome the limitations of Simon’s book, whose treatment of sexual politics is decidedly one-dimensional."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"Sutton Foster may well have been born to play Charity. Is there an actress more adept at toggling between hopefulness and heartbreak with just the bat of an eyelash? The New Group’s 'Sweet Charity' is a bittersweet, but sublime revival…Leigh Silverman takes us through all the steps of the classic musical…'Where Am I Going?' closes 'Sweet Charity' on a tender note that brought the company an ovation, and makes for a gut-wrenching reminder that this is no happy-go-lucky tuner."
Read more

December 6th, 2016

"Ultimately, I am reminded of those great tearjerker moments in 'Chaplin: the Tramp' at the end of 'The Circus or Modern Times', knocked down by fate but ready to rise again and walk off into the horizon."
Read more

December 9th, 2016

"Thanks to the cast (many playing multiple roles), and the visions of director Leigh Silverman and choreographer Joshua Bergasse, the show’s score comes wonderfully to life…Foster is brilliant as the title character. Not only in the comedic moments—Charity stops the action of an entire scene to make a sandwich—but also in the dramatic ones…Working on every level, this production of 'Sweet Charity' is an absolute triumph."
Read more

December 9th, 2016

"This revival, safely directed by Leigh Silverman, doesn’t stray too much from the breezy book by Neil Simon to unearth much drama...The real star of 'Sweet Charity' is the wonderful score...Orchestrations by the six-member band are mostly adequate, but a little thin when it comes to strings,..The always inventive choreographer Joshua Bergasse here misses finding a dance style that fits the story and setting. "
Read more

Z
November 22nd, 2016

"My only complaint about the inimitable Sutton Foster is that I have a hard time figuring out what she does best. Flawless dancing? Check. Stunning singing? Yup. Hilarious physical comedy? For sure. But the thing that puts the cherry on the Foster cupcake is that while doing all that she manages to imbue every moment with a depth of character that most performers don’t attain even without the high kicks and tumbles…The performances are uniformly superb."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"They don't make them like Sutton Foster anymore. Her go-for-broke comedic skills make her a quadruple threat...It gets darker at the end, which can throw you for a bit of a loop. But the darkness adds pathos and poignancy, and, in this case, relevance...Mostly, though, this is a great excuse to see one of our living legends in an iconic role, and make it her own...Thankfully, this production and choreographer Joshua Bergasse takes full advantage of his multi-talented leading lady."
Read more

November 21st, 2016

"An energetic, playful revival...Director Leigh Silverman embraces the farcical schtick of the original, which mocked mainstream societal norms, and creates a vibrant sixties atmosphere while acknowledging dark moments...The production abounds with flashy, kinetic dance numbers courtesy of Joshua Bergasse, who maximizes Foster’s peppy appeal and athletic dance style."
Read more

November 28th, 2016

"A show with the word 'sweet' in its title was conceived as a musical comedy; darkening it, as Silverman has done, only stains it...Foster mostly gives a flat delivery to her lines...Not every one of Silverman’s ideas is bad. Having Charity joining 'Big Spender' and Ursula collaborating on 'Too Many Tomorrows' are both sharp decisions...The baton should have been passed to an actress who could have convinced her director to play Charity sweet."
Read more

November 25th, 2016

"In this slightly darker version with a bit fewer laughs, directed with deep sincerity by Silverman, just about everything clicks thanks to the lead and the other cast of actors who are equally good...The score, which still remains one of the catchiest in years, feels as fresh as if it was written today and the cynical book by Neil Simon has been slightly changed making it more melancholy...With such a snappy score and Foster a ray of sunshine, this 'Charity' is a bouquet of roses."
Read more

November 20th, 2016

"Joshua Bergasse’s sexy and stimulating choreography is the true star here–and rightly so. This is a reinvention rather than a revival–an exceptional and invigorating one...In Silverman’s hands, 'Sweet Charity' is less a vehicle for a star and more a committed ensemble piece, albeit one where frequently there is a whiff of Fosse fragrance. Stylish fluidity is Silverman’s key to unlocking the musical's strengths...Enlivening this template, Sutton Foster is gloriously unbeatable as Charity."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

66
Middling
2 Reviews
Ends Jul 18
NYC: West Village

Seven world premiere short plays by seven well-known playwrights in NYC's Meatpacking District.

Buy
88
Excellent
47 Reviews
Opens Dec 20
NYC: Midtown W

A hit in London, Sondheim's classic musical (with a new twist), stars Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone.

Buy
Score it Buy
Unreviewed
Opens Oct 21
NYC: Midtown W

Winnie the Pooh and friends embark on fun adventures, in this new musical with life-size puppets.

Buy