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Look Back at Sweet Charity on Broadway Starring Gwen Verdon

The original Broadway production of Sweet Charity, composed by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon, opened on January 29, 1966, at the Palace Theatre. The production played 10 previews and 608 performances before closing July 15, 1967, earning nine Tony Awards with Bob Fosse winning Best Choreography.

Based on the screenplay Nights of Cabiria by Federico Fellini, Sweet Charity follows the adventures of a New York taxi dancer with an open-hearted but unlucky in love. The musical has been cemented in the musical theatre canon with songs such as “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” and the seminal choreography for “Rich Man’s Frug.” The original production was conceived by Fosse for his wife, Tony winner Gwen Verdon, who played Charity.

In addition to Verdon, the musical starred John McMartin as Oscar, Helen Gallagher as Nicki, Thelma Oliver as Helene, Sharon Ritchie as Ursula, and James Luisi as Vittorio Vidal alongside ensemble members Michael Davis, Eddie Gasper, David Gold, Carmen Morales, Harold Pierson, Barbara Sharma, Arnold Soboloff, Bud Vest, John Wheeler, Ruth Buzzi, Elaine Cancilla, Suzanne Charny, Betsy Dickerson, Kathryn Doby, Alice Evans, Gene Foote, Patrick Heim, I.W. Klein, Mary Louise, Lee Roy Reams, Charlene Ryan, John Sharpe, Christine Stewart, and John Stratton.

Dircted and choreographed by Fosse, Sweet Charity scenic and lighting design by Robert Randolph and costume design by Irene Sharaff with stage management by Paul Phillips, NIck Malekos, and Michael Sinclair. For the complete cast and creative team, visit Sweet Charity in the Playbill Vault.

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