The College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Drama begins the 2022/2023 season on Oct. 15 with the popular musical “Sweet Charity” directed by David Lowenstein, choreographed by Kira Schmidt-Carper, with musical direction by Brian Cimmet.
Performances will be held Oct. 15 – 23 in the Syracuse Stage / Syracuse University Drama Complex, 820 East Genesee St. Tickets are available through the Syracuse Stage Box Office at www.syracusestage.org/drama or by phone at 315.443.3275.
Written by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, “Sweet Charity” is an integral part of the musical theater lore of Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse, filled with great songs and plenty of humor. Some of the original show’s dazzling choreography is incorporated in the Department of Drama’s current production with “Rich Man’s Frug” guest-choreographed by Verdon Fosse Legacy Dancer Lloyd Culbreath. And featuring such famous tunes as “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “I’m a Brass Band” and “Baby, Dream Your Dream,” this treasure from the 60s is packed with heart, energy and genuine affection for the art of musical theater.
Self-acceptance and self-discovery are major themes throughout this season’s productions according to Department Chair Ralph Zito, and “Sweet Charity” is no exception. At the heart of “Sweet Charity” is Charity Hope Valentine, romantic and optimistic, who is trying to make a life for herself in the big, bad city. In moments of intense dance and song, audiences will see Charity on a quest for transformative self-love. Lowenstein wants audiences to remember that the Fosse-filled energy, glitz and glam of this hit musical come with a deeper message: “The search for love is always a worthwhile goal.”
The message of self-love extends beyond the stage, however, as Schmidt-Carper, alongside Lowenstein and the production team, worked to create a rehearsal atmosphere packed with dance wellness and joy. “This show is a celebration of self,” said Schmidt-Carper. “And this company’s work on and off stage is no different.”