Sweet Charity - The Original London Cast Recording

Music By: Cy Coleman

 Lyrics by: Dorothy Fields

Book By: Neil Simon

Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Premiering in 1966 on Broadway and in 1967 in Londonís West End, Sweet Charity is based on Federico Felliniís screenplay for Nights of Cabiria.  The musical follows Charity Hope Valentine, a young taxi dancer at the Fandango Ballroom in New York City.  It chronicles the ups and downs of Charityís love life as she continuously tries to find the man who will take her away from it all.

                The Original London Cast Recording of Sweet Charity features Juliet Prowse as Charity and also features Red McLennan, Josephine Blake and Paula Kelly.  The London production of Sweet Charity was the winner of the 1967 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical.  This version of the musical was made available for the first time on CD by Masterworks Broadway on February 12, 2016.  It was also made available for streaming and downloads.

                Iíve never seen Sweet Charity before, but that doesnít mean I didnít recognize any of the songs on the soundtrack.  Some of these songs Ė like Big Spender and If My Friends Could See Me Now - have become so popular as to have been heard in other productions, concerts and soundtrack compilations.  I found the rollercoaster ride that is Charityís love life to be fairly funny.  I loved the hippie church experience of The Rhythm of Life and the hilarity of the taxi girls fantasizing about other careers they might be suited for in There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This I'm A Brass Band gave us hope for Charity, but I Love to Cry at Weddings tips us off to what wasnít meant to be.

                I honestly had a lot of fun listening to this late 1960s musical.  The lyrics of Sweet Charity alternate between funny, catchy and just plain fun.  The music is classic 60s style with synths and guitars thrown in with the orchestra.  Fans of classic musicals will definitely want to get their hands on The Original London Cast Recording of Sweet Charity.


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