Sweet Charity, The Old Market, Hove, until June 16, visit www.citytheatreco.co.uk/sweetcharity (From The Argus)
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Sweet Charity, The Old Market, Hove, until June 16, visit www.citytheatreco.co.uk/sweetcharity
So let me get right to the point: Sweet Charity is much more than its signature number Big Spender.
Edgy, clever and surprisingly tender, this production from the City Theatre Company leaves the audience aching for the free love and loose morals of the 1960s.
For two and a half hours we felt like punters crammed into a seedy New York fandango club rather than The Old Market in Hove.
And the show is funny. Not corny but laugh-out-loud funny.
Sweet Charity is one of the few musicals with a script to match the score and the cast did it justice, despite some dodgy New York drawls.
As Charity whirls through life and men, the orchestra deftly plink-plonks along before swelling beautifully into full-throated song.
Many of the tunes are toe-tappingly familiar after being revamped by pop stars from Shirley Bassey to Sammy Davis Jr.
Of course the audience were waiting for the sassy splendour of Big Spender, which was given the full fandango treatment with explosions of colour and flashes of lacy knickers.
But there was also the pulsating Rhythm Of Life, chanted by hordes of hippies, and the hilarious I’m The Bravest Individual, sung in a broken-down lift.
Alongside the jazz hands and razzamatazz, there are also moments of superbly acted sadness.
A scene where three jaded bar hostesses sing dolefully about their pitiful futures is especially poignant.