Last night we caught an evening performance of Sweet Charity at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, which formerly was a movie house and home of The Academy Awards for 10 years. Compared to the tight theaters in Times Square this theater was pretty grand. 80s star Molly Ringwald plays the lead role as Charity Hope Valentine in the national tour of the free spirited late 60s musical about a lounge hall dancer in New York City trying to find love despite her profession and disappointments. There is also a film adaptation by Bob Fosse and stars another famous red head, Shirley MacLaine. The story was written by the awesome Neil Simon (Odd Couple, The Goodbye Girl), and includes such hits as "Hey, Big Spender" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now." The score has been playing in my head all night and this morning.
Two summers ago, I saw Sweet Charity on Broadway with Christina Applegate and really enjoyed the dancing and fun sets, plus Christina's quirkyness in the role and comedic timing. She also looked beautiful. I had blogged a review on the show here. It's too bad the musical didn't last long on Broadway though, but this production and choreography is based on the 2005 revival that I had originally seen. So the sets, costumes and dance numbers wee the same, just some new faces.
As for Molly, I always liked her but after seeing Applegate and MacLaine in the role, she came off looking more like orphan Annie in her red dress than the sexy and charming Sweet Charity. Her singing was better than I expected, no qualms there and I'm always impressed with actors that are triple threats, but I guess Molly is only a double threat since her dancing seemed forced and out done by the cast. Just the fickle fingers of fate, I guess.
For more information on Sweet Charity and to see which cities the show will be stopping at next, go to: www.sweetcharitythemusical.com