By Rhoda Koenig for The Independent
Dated, disingenuous and demeaning to women even in 1966, Neil Simon's book is as much a bar to enjoying Sweet Charity as a couple snogging in front of you, a man snoring behind and children eating crisps on either side. Children, though, ought not to be at this musical, adapted at Bob Fosse's suggestion from Fellini's film Nights of Cabiria. It was the first show Fosse directed as well as choreographed, and his peculiar style of trancelike contempt is here used only in a number where it really belongs. As a row of dancers-for-hire wait to be chosen, the kind of music that accompanies a striptease plays against a hellish obbligato of dead voices chanting: "Fun... laughs... good time.''
But the young Cy Coleman's splendid score and the old Dorothy Fields's crafty lyrics are steadily undermined by the limp and embarrassing story, a series of humiliations visited on its title character. click for more