Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama’s production of Sweet Charity was just the show I needed to warm myself up on a cold November night. Light, cozy, dazzling, and, yes, sweet are all words I could use to describe what I saw that evening. The musical numbers were chockfull of spectacular dance moves and colorful sets. All those aspects were really just garnish to an otherwise tasteless meal.
Sweet Charity’s saving grace was the creative mind of the director, Kenneth Roberson.The script is at times plot-less, with each individual scene acting as a Christmas ornament on a Christmas tree barren of its pine needles.
Emily Kelly’s performance of the titular character was really quite good, everything about it pulsated charisma. She fully committed to a character whose goals seemed to change during every scene. With her sharp dance skills and clear, pretty singing voice; Ms. Kelly will be going places. The other performances were good as well. I was very impressed at how well each cast member danced and moved about on the stage. Every single one of them seemed to effortlessly glide across the stage, like butter on a warm griddle.
The costumes were marvelously in period, reminding me that the 60s in New York were a wild good time fashion-wise. I really appreciated how keen to detail the set was. The stage frame added to the feel of the decade, giving it the feel of old time television. Each scene took the audience from location to location, never missing a beat due to the seamless scene transitions. Quick as lightning those changes were. All in all, I felt this production of Sweet Charity was outstanding, especially so granted how sub par the show really is.