Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sweet Charity (The SOB Review)

Sweet Charity (The SOB Review) – Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, United Kingdom

*** (out of ****)


So, let me get right to the point.

I don’t pop my cork for every production of Sweet Charity I see. Aside from Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman’s wonderfully fizzy score, it’s Neil Simon’s clunky and largely unsatisfying conclusion that usually makes me wonder what’s going on in his mind.

Yet the minute the exceptional Tamzin Outhwaite walked in the joint, er, on the stage, I could tell Matthew White’s was a revival of distinction. Good looking, yet remarkably (and appropriately) unrefined in Menier Chocolate Factory's inherently gritty fashion. As Charity Hope Valentine, this charismatic triple threat has plucky charm to spare, making this Sweet Charity a sheer, shimmying delight.

Mark Umbers proves a quadruple threat in terms of effortlessly taking on Charity’s four (yes, four) romantic interests from start to finish. Josefina Gabrielle and Tiffany Graves turn in respectable trades as Nickie and Helene, respectively. Their breathtaking turn on "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" with Outhwaite is a triple threat cubed. And unlike the last Broadway revival, there's no need to relegate this Charity almost entirely to the sidelines since Outhwaite is more than up to the choreographic challenge.

If you want to have fun, more than a few laughs and above all else a good time -- all while touching your heart -- you've got to get up, you've got to get out to London's Theatre Royal Haymarket and see this Sweet Charity live it.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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