"Sweet Charity" Brings Fosse-Style Dancing to the Mac-Haydn Stage

Posted July 23, 2009

CHATHAM, NY -- Sweet Charity, the bittersweet story of Charity Hope Valentine, a girl who can never quite find love but never gives up looking, brings comedy, great songs and sassy dancing to The Mac-Haydn Theatre stage July 30 through August 9. Wry Neil Simon comedy abounds and a hit parade of Cy Coleman songs (“Big Spender, If My Friends Could See Me Now, Where Am I Going, I’m A Brass Band”) highlight snazzy Bob Fosse style dancing in this delightful story of love found and lost – and lost – and lost.

Charity, a hostess/dancer at The Fandango Ballroom, is searching for happiness in the arms of the right man, but it always eludes her. In the first scene current boyfriend, a complete ne-er-do-well, dumps her with a splash and takes her cash. She then meets an Italian movie star who picks her up – literally - and takes her home but stashes her in the closet when his girl shows up. Next, she’s stuck in an elevator with a mild-mannered accountant who falls in love with her. Has she finally found the right one? You’ll have to come see the show to find out – we’ll just say that she lives “hopefully ever after”.

Loads of laughs, zany characters and of course the songs and dancing add up to one big delight of a show you’ll love and laugh at from start to finish.

Charity Hope Valentine will be played by Chelsea Gidden. The dynamic actress is in her first Mac-Haydn summer; previous roles include Jemima in Cats, Judy in A Chorus Line and Gladys in The Pajama Game. Ben Jacoby takes a complete turn-about from playing the Beast in Beauty and the Beast to play Oscar Lindquist, Charity’s biggest hope for happiness ever after. Besides the Beast, Mr. Jacoby has shown his stage versatility by playing the title role in Phantom and Corny Collins in Hairspray, in Mac-Haydn’s 2008 season.

Jason Whitfield, who quickly became a Mac-Haydn audience favorite as Pharoah in Joseph and Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly!, will return to play the dashing Italian movie star Vittorio Vidal, singing “Too Many Tomorrows.”

Kellyn Uhl and Andrea Doto will play Charity’s pals, Fandango dancers Helene and Nicki. Ms. Uhl showed her leggy moves as Mrs. Potiphar in Joseph and Ms. Doto was charming as Ermengarde in Hello, Dolly! Jared Jacobs, who belted out a catchy “Benjamin Calypso” in Joseph, will be Big Daddy, leading the revival singing “Rhythm of Life.” Ryan Owens will tell “I Love To Cry At Weddings” as Herman, owner of the Fandango; he was lead singer in “One More Angel In Heaven” in Joseph.

Good seats are available for Sweet Charity, performing July 30 through August 9, followed by Gershwin, Gershwin and more Gershwin music in Crazy For You, August 13 to 23. Performances are: first week: Thursday at 2 and 8, Friday at 8, Saturday at 4 and 8 and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.; second week: Wednesday at 2 and 8, Thursday and Friday at 8, Saturday at 4 and 8 and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $28 and $27; $26 for all matinee seats; children under 12, $12.00. Discounts are available for groups and senior citizens. Master Card and Visa accepted. No cancellations or refunds. Fully Air Conditioned. Dinner and a Show discount packages, and Delightful Dozen discounts are available. Call 518-392-9292 for information and reservations. See more Mac-Haydn news and information at www.machaydntheatre.org.

Back to Gail Sez home.