SWEET CHARITY TRANSFERS TO THE WEST END
| By London Theatre Direct
Tamzin Outhwaite is joined by Mark Umbers in the West End transfer of the Tony Award-winning musical, Sweet Charity. Matthew White’s production of Sweet Charity, which completed its sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory last month, will open at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 23 April 2010 with press night on 4 May and is currently booking until 8 January 2011.
Directed by Matthew White, Tamzin Outhwaite and Mark Umbers are joined by original cast members Josefina Gabrielle, Tiffany Graves and Paul J Medford as well as Jack Edwards, Ebony Molina, Rachael Archer, Richard Jones, Gemma Maclean, Zak Nemorin, Richard Roe, Annalisa Rossi and Jez Unwin. They are joined by Kenneth Avery-Clark, Matthew Barrow, Joanna Goodwin, Alexis Owen Hobbs and Laura Scott.
With book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, choreography is by Stephen Mear, set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Matthew Wright, musical supervision and direction by Nigel Lilley, orchestrations by Chris Walker, lighting by David Howe and sound design by Gareth Owen. The Menier Chocolate Factory’s Sweet Charity is produced in the West End by David Babani for Chocolate Factory Productions, David Ian Productions, Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions, David Mirvish and Michael Watt.
Sweet Charity follows the misadventures of love encountered by the gullible and guileless Charity Hope Valentine, a woman who always gives her heart and her dreams to the wrong man. Cy Coleman’s score features favourite hits such as Hey, Big Spender; If My Friends Could See Me Now and The Rhythm of Life.
Tamzin Outhwaite’s previous stage credits include Matthew Warchus’ critically acclaimed production of Boeing-Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, Breathing Corpses and Flesh Wound for the Royal Court, Oliver at the London Palladium and Baby on Board, Absent Friends and They’re Playing Our Song, all for Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. She is known on television for her roles in Red Cap, Hustle, Frances Tuesday, Hotel Babylon and EastEnders. Her most recent roles have been in the ITV1 drama The Fixer and the BBC One drama Paradox. Her film work includes Cassandra’s Dream by Woody Allen co-starring Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell, Back Waters and the award-winning Out of Control.
Mark Umbers was recently seen on television in the re-working of The Turn of the Screw, shown at Christmas, and the drama Mistresses, both for the BBC. His theatre credits include Funny Girl for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Glass Menagerie at the Apollo Theatre, The Vortex for the Donmar Warehouse, My Fair Lady, Candide and The Merchant of Venice for the National Theatre and The Pirates of Penzanzce for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. His other television credits include Harley Street, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders, The Merchant of Venice and The Scarlet Pimpernel. His film credits include Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream and Che: Part Two.
Josefina Gabrielle’s stage credits include Hello, Dolly! at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, Singing in the Rain at Sadler’s Wells and Leicester Haymarket, A Chorus Line for Sheffield Crucible, Oklahoma! for the National Theatre (also West End and on Broadway), The Witches of Eastwick at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre and Fame at the Cambridge Theatre.
Tiffany Graves’ stage credits include Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre, Shout! at the Arts Theatre and Cats and Sunset Boulevard in the West End, as well as UK tours of Run For Your Wife, Godspell and Tonight’s The Night.
Paul J. Medford was an original company member of Five Guys Named Moe at the Lyric Theatre. His other theatre credits include Follow My Leader at Hampstead Theatre, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for the Royal Shakespeare Company, My One and Only at the Piccadilly Theatre, Mother Clap’s Molly House for the National Theatre, Roll with the Punches at the Tricycle Theatre and Road for the Royal Court. His television credits include This Life, EastEnders and Minder.
Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, Sweet Charity premiered on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 1966, where it ran for over 600 performances. The production won the Tony Award for Best Choreography in the same year. In 1967 the production opened in London at Prince of Wales Theatre, starring Juliet Prowse. The 1969 film version also directed and choreographed by Fosse, starred Shirley MacLaine and John McMartin. In 1986 the production was revived on Broadway winning four Tony Awards, and again in 2005 starring Christina Applegate.
Playwright and screen writer Neil Simon’s career has spanned more than five decades during which he has written over 30 plays and 20 screen plays. His first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened in 1961. Shortly after, his second production, Little Me, earned him his first Tony Award nomination. In 1966 Simon had four shows running on Broadway at the same time - Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park. He has won three Tony Awards - Best Author for The Odd Couple, Best Play for Biloxi Blues and Best Play for Lost in Yonkers - and been nominated for seventeen. Simon has also won an Evening Standard Award for Barefoot in the Park, the Golden Globe for Best Motion Screenplay for The Goodbye Girl and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Lost In Yonkers.
Cy Coleman (1929 – 2004) is the only composer to win consecutive Tony Awards for Best Score for Musicals which also won for Best Musical: City of Angels (1990) and The Will Rogers Follies (1991). He also won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for On the Twentieth Century in 1978. He received two Emmy Awards for his work on Shirley MacLaine’s TV specials, If My Friends Could See Me Now (1974) and Gypsy in My Soul (1976). In 1992 he won two Grammy Awards for his score and for producing the original cast album of The Will Rogers Follies. Coleman was the last major contributor to the Great American Songbook.
Dorothy Fields (1905 – 1974) wrote over 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films. From 1928 to 1935 she worked with Jimmy McHugh producing songs such as I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby; Exactly Like You and On the Sunny Side of the Street. In the 1930’s she collaborated with Jerome Kern on the film Swing Time, winning the Academy Award for Best Song in 1936 for The Way You Look Tonight. In the 1940’s she teamed up with her brother Herbert Fields with whom she wrote books for three Cole Porter shows, as well as the book for Annie Get Your Gun. She collaborated with Cy Coleman on Sweet Charity and Seesaw.
Sweet Charity is based on the original screenplay for Nights of Cabiria by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano.
Most recently the Menier Chocolate Factory has transferred A Little Night Music and La Cage Aux Folles to the West End, the former is currently playing on Broadway with Catherine Zeta Jones, Angela Lansbury and Alexander Hanson, the latter is also playing on Broadway, at the Longacre Theatre, with Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge in the leading roles.