Auditions and many hours of practice dancing and singing have finally culminated to an opening day performance. The Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department will celebrate the 50th anniversaries of the college and the musical “Sweet Charity” when the musical is re-staged May 12-14 and May 19-21, 2016, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., May 12-14; 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., May 19-20; and 2 p.m. Sat., May 21.
Tickets are $15 for the orchestra and mezzanine, $12 for the balcony, and $9 for seniors, children, and University of Florida students. Santa Fe College students are admitted free with their college identification cards. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181. Tickets may be purchased on line at:
Based on a screenplay by Federico Fellini and written by Neil Simon, the comedy “Sweet Charity” was first conceived, staged and choreographed on Broadway by Bob Fosse in 1966, the first year SF College held classes. The story follows the adventures of dance hall girl-for-hire Charity Hope Valentine, a young woman who wants to be loved so much that she loses sight of who she is. The play won a Tony Award for Fosse’s choreography and an Outer Critics Circle Award for performance by its star, Gwen Verdon. Shirley MacLaine played Charity in the 1969 film.
The story follows Charity as she sings, dances, laughs and cries her way through romances with an “animal magnetism” hero, an “ultra-chic continental” hero, and an “impossible-to-believe-but-he’s-better than nothing” hero. In the all-too-real world of Times Square, Charity interacts with a mix of characters than include a cynical trio of girlfriends at the dance hall, a phony evangelist, Coney Island “fun people” and Central Park “strollers.”
“ ‘Sweet Charity’ is the perfect vehicle to showcase our 50th anniversary and the college’s growth in the performing arts,” said SF Theatre Professor and the play’s director, Terry Klenk. “The piece is a benchmark in the history of the American musical because of Fosse’s influence. Our production—a collective effort by our students and everyone in the department—really highlights the quality of our Fine Arts programs.”
The all-student cast includes scholarship students in music, theatre and dance. Klenk is working with guest co-director Nicholas Wuehrmann, an actor, singer and director who lives in New York City and has appeared at Lincoln Center. The award winning set designer is Sean McClelland, who is based in South Florida. Long-time guest costume designer Zackery Ryan is again contributing his skills to the production. SF College Dance Professor Sarah Harkness-Sebastian is re-staging Fosse’s choreography, while Music Professor Steve Bingham directs the orchestral accompanists and Music Professor Lynn Sandefur directs the singers.
“Sweet Charity” is sponsored by the SF College Fine Arts Department; SF College Student Life; the SF College Foundation and Arts Patron program; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council; and Gateway Grand Best Western.
For more information about “Sweet Charity,” call Terry Klenk at 352-395-5092.
For more information about the Fine Arts Hall or Fine Arts programs, call Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.