Aurora Theatre Opens 17th Season with Sweet Charity

Sweet Charity at Atlanta's Aurora Theatre

Rebecca Simon, Jevares C. Myrick, Caroline Freedlund and Taryn Bryant. Photo by Richard Calmes

Aurora Theatre opens a new season with a new chamber version of the Broadway classic Sweet Charity beginning August 2, 2012. Sweet Charity chronicles the misadventures of Charity Hope Valentine, a dance hall gal with a heart of gold who attempts to navigate the emotionally treacherous terrain of romance and New York City in the 1960’s. Sweet Charity was created by a team of legends in the industry with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by American comedy master Neil Simon. The original Broadway production was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse and starred his wife Gwen Verdon. Winner of 5 Tony Awards, Sweet Charity is best known for show-stopping musical numbers like “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “I’m A Brass Band.”

With Sweet Charity, Aurora Theatre welcomes home two former Atlanta standouts who have gained national recognition for their work. Dad’s Garage Founder and former Artistic Director, Sean Daniels returns to Atlanta to put a fresh spin on this oft-produced hit. Since leaving Atlanta 10 years ago, Sean has gone on to work at California Shakespeare Theater and Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and currently serves as Director of Artistic Engagement for Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY. Sean is nationally regarded as an expert of bringing new faces to theatre audiences. Daniels is especially adept at giving a fresh and funny approach to traditional works.

Sweet Charity is also the homecoming of Canton, Georgia native and New York based veteran of several Broadway national tours, Trent Blanton, who will portray all of Charity’s love interests. His wife Rebecca Simon, also a Broadway national tour performer, will take on the title role of Charity Hope Valentine. All of the remaining characters will be played by a team of seven of Atlanta’s best musical theatre talents including Aurora Theatre audience favorites Jevares C. Myrick, Jimi Kocina, Caroline Freedlund and John Markowski, with Taryn Bryant, Loren Lott and Jenna Edmonds all making their Aurora Theatre debut. Accompanying Daniels on the stellar creative team are Aurora Theatre Associate Producer and Resident Music Director Ann-Carol Pence and choreographer Jen MacQueen.

Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez talks about the decision to open the 17th season with Sweet Charity, “We traditionally open the season with a classic Broadway musical at Aurora. Sean Daniels contacted me with this innovative chamber approach to Sweet Charity that would be performed by a cast of just nine people. The more he talked about the ingenious way we could present the show, the more Ann-Carol and I could not resist. Listening to his thoughtful ideas about the play, I knew we had to do the show. One interesting example is to show the pattern of people essentially dating the same ‘type’, Charity’s love interests will all be played by the same actor. Sean has been a great asset to Aurora already and has consulted on new play projects over the last few years. I have been looking for an opportunity to bring him on board. Later this season, he will be back, to direct the new comedy BOB, too.”

Programming in Aurora Theatre’s 2012-2013 Main Stage Season is possible through generous support from Metro Waterproofing and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. Sweet Charity is sponsored by Gwinnett Federal Credit Union.

Cast and Crew

Rebecca Simon  Charity Hope Valentine
Trent Blanton  Oscar Lindquist, Charlie, Marvin, Vittorio Vidal
Caroline Freedlund  Nickie, Ensemble
Taryn Bryant Helene, Ensemble
Jevares C. Myrick Daddy, Ensemble
Jimi Kocina Herman, Ensemble
Loren Lott Ensemble
Jenna Edmonds Ensemble
John Markowski Ensemble
Anthony Rodriguez Producer
Sean Daniels Director
Ann-Carol Pence Music Director
Jen MacQueen Choreographer
Kathryn Pelkey Stage Manager
Sarah Rowan Assistant Director
Daniel Terry Sound Designer
Thom Beaulieu Lighting Design
John Thigpen Set Designer
Joanna Schmink Costume Design
EB Hooyer Props Design & Assistant Stage Manager
Britt Hultgren Ramroop Production Manager
James M. Helms Technical Director
Sarah Thomson Scenic Artist

Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
August 2 – September 2

Wednesday–Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets $25–$35

Wednesday Discount Matinee
August 22 at 10 a.m.

Tickets $16  678-226-6222