“Do you wanna have fun? A few laughs? And a good time?”
Prepare yourselves as the spirit of the 60’s set in a night club in Manhattan will come to life this coming August as 9 Works Theatrical proudly presents Broadway’s most sensational spectacle and critically-acclaimed dance comedy musical “SWEET CHARITY.”
Like vintage champagne, “SWEET CHARITY” shall pop its cork to become one of the bubbliest, frothiest and happiest musical treats Manila will experience.
“SWEET CHARITY” (book by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano, produced for the Broadway Stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris, and conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse whose name is synonymous to “ All That Jazz,” and “ Chicago”) is about a taxi dancer’s adventures and misadventures in the ways of love and who always gives her heart, and her earnings, to the wrong man.
“SWEET CHARITY” was originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse when it premiered on Broadway in 1966. With over 600 performances, the production won the Tony Award for Best Choreography in the same year before opening in London a year later. A 1969 film version starred Shirley MacLaine. A Broadway revival in 2005 featured Christine Applegate.
Giving life to the different characters in “ SWEET CHARITY ” that promises a lot of zip, zest and real energy are a mix of the country’s well-seasoned actors and talented young artists in the field of entertainment and dance.
As the lead character, Charity Hope Valentine is a kooky, feisty, punchy and a bubbly dance hall hostess in New York who has been used and dumped by a succession of distinctly uncharitable men, but who hasn’t stopped hoping for a happy ending. With her “loveable childlike” persona, Charity embodies the hopelessly gullible and sentimental woman who will sing and dance with her dancehall posse. Audiences can expect the unexpected as she unleashes her dynamite – legs, frills, lipstick, and a performance that will be full of vitality, pathos and verve.
Playing the role of Charity is Nikki Gil, who was an ingénue eight years ago when she first appeared in a soft drink commercial and rose to fame as she honed her talents in song and dance. As a mainstay host and artist of “ASAP Live ” on ABS-CBN, Nikki’s foray into theatre included a lead role as Elle Woods in the local production of the musical “ Legally Blonde ” produced in 2010.
Kris Lawrence plays Oscar Lindquist, a claustrophobic, wimpy nervous man who Charity befriends in a stalled elevator. A neurotic tax accountant by profession, hopefully, he shall give Sweet Charity the love she has longed for. From winning a local singing talent search a few years back, Kris has become one of the young breed of soul artists and has recently released his album “Moments of Love.” He is a regular performance on GMA-7’s “Party Pilipinas.” Landing a role in “Sweet Charity” is a dream come true.
Shiela Valderrama-Martinez as Nickie, the well-worn dance hostess and Ciara Sotto-Oconer as Helene will play the roles of Sweet Charity’s closest confidantes at the Fandango Ballroom, a seedy dance hall where they’re employed as unabashed hostesses.
Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, who is one of the leading ladies of Philippine theatre today has appeared in various productions here and abroad which include Hong Kong Disneyland’s “The Golden Mickeys,” “Cinderella,” and 9 Works Theatrical’s hit musical, “The Wedding Singer” as Julia Guglia.
Ciara Sotto-Oconer is one of the country’s top-rated artists. Her recent role as Mimi in the 9 Works production of “ RENT ” last February marked her stamp as a stalwart both in acting and dancing.
Sheree Vidal-Bautista plays Carmen, one of Charity’s co-dancers. A TV personality who ventured into the musical theatre scene, her role as Mimi in the recently-concluded rock musical “ RENT ” has proven that indeed, her musical artistry was well-received by the press and audiences alike.
Miguel Faustmann plays Herman, the authoritarian owner of the Fandango Ballroom and Charity’s boss. As Philippine theatre’s well-respected ‘man for all seasons,’ Miguel’s roster of roles he has portrayed for over 20 years in Repertory Philippines’ various productions firmly attests his stature as the ‘consummate artist.’
OJ Mariano plays the dual role of Vittorio Vidal, the charming, egotistical and confident Italian film star Vittorio Vidal; and Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck, the enigmatic leader of the Rhythm of Life Church. Originally a singer and concert performer, OJ’s luck came into a streak when he bagged the coveted role as Tom Collins in “RENT” last Febuary 2010. His highly-acclaimed moving performance prompted 9 Works Theatrical to cast him again for the same role in the re-runs of “RENT” last December 2010 and February 2011.
Tasy Garrucha plays Ursala March, the melodramatic actress and Vittorio’s girlfriend. She is one of the rising stars of Philippine theater with her star turn as Zafira in Dulaang UP’s Orosman at Zafira as well as being a performer in Resorts World’s KAOS.
Joining the ensemble are a mix and match of seasoned talents as well as up and coming actors in the industry. Notable actresses include Caisa Borromeo who returns to 9 Works Theatrical for this production of Sweet Charity after her critically acclaimed performance in Little Women, singer-actress and Party Pilipinas blocking director Chinie Nepomuceno, and prima dancers Vinia Pamplona and Carmelle Ros as dancehall hostesses opposite Charity, as well as celebrated theater veteran Topper Fabregas in his debut performance with 9 Works Theatrical, Job Bautista who was last seen as Angel in 9 Works Theatrical’s RENT, Francis Matheu, Anthony Tarrosa Ong, Peter Alcedo and Chai Relucio.
The artistic team of “ SWEET CHARITY ” is led by Director Robbie Guevara, Assistant Director Lorenz Martinez who goes behind the scenes this time around, Deana Aquino, Choreographer; Joseph Tolentino, Musical Director (Orchestra); Sweet Plantado, Musical Director (Vocals); Mio Infante, Scenographer; Martin Esteva, Lighting Designer; Mio Infante and Hanna de los Reyes as Costume Designers.
The “SWEET CHARITY” production team is composed of: Santi Santamaria, executive producer; Anna Santamaria, company manager; Toff de Venecia, Marketing & PR Director; Toots Tolentino, PR Consultant; Jonjon Martin, PR Manager; Sunshine Domine, Production Manager; and Aries Alcayaga, Stage Manager.
“SWEET CHARITY” is presented by 9 Works Theatrical. Major Partners include The Rockwell Club; and Member’s Only Bar and Lounge as Participating Partner.
“SWEET CHARITY” is produced by, arrangement with, and the music and dialogue material furnished by TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.