From the minute you walk in the joint, the Geoff Gibbs Theatre, you can tell you are in for an evening of fun, laughs, good times, as the third year musical theatre students from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, present Sweet Charity.
It’s the moment the orchestra, under the direction of Craig Dalton, commence the overture that you are reminded of all the unforgettable musical numbers that are part of the score written by Dorothy Fields and Cy Colman some fifty years ago.
Sweet Charity is almost a one woman show, as Charity, Caitlin New, is in almost every scene. And New is a sensation! She commands the stage from her very first opening dance sequence to her final line. She is more than a triple threat as she masterfully acts, dances and sings without a hint of exhaustion.
As the character of Charity plunges from the depths of despair to the highest highs in her search for love, New manages to convey her story with heartfelt and voracious passion.
New is supported by a band of equally talented performers. Victoria Graves as Ursula gives a passionate performance as the high maintenance lover to world famous movie star, Vittorio Vidal. Conor Neylon plays Vidal with humour and charm.
Annabelle Rosewarne as Nicki and Grace Collins as Helene, along with New, belt out a Latino high energy musical number, There’s gotta be something better than this, that is full of high spirited energy.
Luke Wilson as Oscar Lindquist also produced a standout performance as Charity’s fiancée. His scene whilst trapped in an elevator is humourlessly dramatic, while the scene in which he ends the relationship is heartfelt and heartbreaking.
The set designed by Riley Tapp is simple and effective, as during one scene stairs become an elevator while in another a parachute ride at the fair. Choreographer Michael Ralph displays hints of Fosse while creating a new feel among robotic movement and old fashioned sleaze. The scene in which Charity is drowning is visually enthralling and dynamically executed.
Sweet Charity is another quality production that should not be missed. Grab your tickets now and as the cast sensually request, “Spend a little time with me.”
Geoff Gibbs Theatre – Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Bradford Street, Mount Lawley
Performance: Saturday 24 August 2019 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 31 August 2019
Information and Bookings: www.waapa.ecu.edu.au
Image: The Cast of Sweet Charity – photo by Jon Green
Review: Craig Dalglish