“Sweet Charity” dancing its way to FEC in November

Sept. 28, 2022 — Last Resort Players will present “Sweet Charity” at the Florence Events Center mainstage on Nove.11 to 13 and 17 to 20. The show will be directed by Laura Merz and choreographed by Angela Palmer.

Merz and Palmer are both native Florencians.

"We grew up together. Our families were quite close," said Merz.

“Sweet Charity” follows the romantic trials and tribulations of Charity Hope Valentine.

Charity is a taxi dancer, a dance partner-for-hire at a seedy dance hall, “The Fandango Ballroom,” in New York City during the early 1960s. Though the job may be decidedly undesirable, Charity’s hopeful romanticism and unfailing optimism lift her out of her circumstances and help her reach for a life beyond. Joanie Schmidt returns to the Florence stage in the title role.

“Sweet Charity” was directed and choreographed for Broadway by the legendary Bob Fosse with a laugh-a-minute script by the incomparable Neil Simon. With music composed by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, “Sweet Charity” includes song hits such as “Hey, Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Rhythm of Life.”

Merz remembers, "Angela and I both fell in love with ‘Sweet Charity,’ the movie with Shirley MacLaine, when we were young. I used to watch it with my mother and sing along with the songs. Now I have the privilege of teaching these songs to strong leads, a great chorus and an experienced orchestra."

Palmer says, "It's such an honor to work with this talented cast. Joanie [Schmidt, the leading lady] is singing, dancing, and learning her lines; she's very dedicated and awe-inspiring. And the Fandango Girls are amazing!"

Merz and Palmer each bring a great deal of experience to their leadership positions. Merz has been the director or musical director for such shows as “Into The Woods,” “Cabaret” and “Les Miserables.” Palmer has choreographed shows including “The Music Man,” ”Fiddler On The Roof” and “Chicago.”

With a large and talented cast, full orchestra, grand staging, costumes, and surprises, LRP once again will bring great entertainment to the big stage. For further “Sweet Charity” details, visit Last Resort Players at www.LastResortPlayers.com.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at Florence Events Center, 541-997-1994, or online at the FEC website, www.eventcenter.org.

“Sweet Charity” is proudly sponsored by City Lights Cinemas, www.citylightscinemas.com.