My one sentence synopsis of the musical is: Sweet Charity is a simple girl and a simple play and the extra’s had the best scenes. My favorite song without question was “Big Spender”. This is sung by Charity’s fellow dance girls. This song was very intense because the bodies of the dancers moved in very dynamic ways, but their faces were very stiff the whole song. This dance represented their life as dance girls who get paid to dance with random men. Their hatred of this lifestyle is shown through this song by the disheartened expression of their faces. My next favorite song, which was also led by the extra’s was “The Rhythm of Life”. This catchy song was accompanied by extravagant and estranged dancing which made it very entertaining to watch. My favorite aspect of watching Sweet charity was actually the estranged dancing that happens throughout the musical.
The lead roles did a great job as well. The lead male Oscar’s opening scene was hilarious and reminded me of Gene Wilder in The Producers. Charity did a wonderful job being naive throughout the play.
A few criticisms. I didn’t like how they opened and ended the play. I found the colorful headings from the ceiling cartoonish like I was about to watch “Looney Tunes”. It didn’t help that the opening dance had very cartoonish movements. I thought that there weren’t many powerful voices in the production, notes where I was expecting a boom I thought often fell flat. The play liked to repeat words or sentences for comedic purposes. However, I don’t think the performers did it in a funny way. Lastly, there were not enough students in the crowd!! Almost everyone in the audience was above 50 years old.
I want to close my review on the life lessons to be learned from Sweet Charity. Charity is a girl who has been hurt by false love her whole life, yet she never gives up. So why do we in the modern era give up on love so easily? “Without love, life has no purpose” is a mantra of the play that really stuck to me. It is a phrase we would never hear today, but I wish we would. The play also emphasized the struggle humans have with purity. The idea that someone who isn’t “in the poetic sense a pure virgin” can still be a wholesome person. Oscar learns that this is possible through Charity and that by rejecting Charity solely because she isn’t a virgin is suffocating himself with a closed mind. This play was written in the 60’s when virginity before marriage was more common, I think today we are beyond this ideal and this part of the musical wasn’t as relateable.