Wilkes University Theatre to Present Sweet Charity

by Kelly Clisham

Wilkes University Theatre invites audience members to fall in love with Sweet Charity at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23, 24 and 25, and 2 p.m. on Feb. 25 and 26, at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, 239 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre.

Sweet Charity, with a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, music by Cy Coleman and choreography by Bob Fosse, opened on Broadway in 1966, capturing nine Tony Award nominations. The musical kept the laughs coming with a big screen version in 1969, Broadway revivals in 1986 and 2005, and an off-Broadway revival in 2016.

With songs including “If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Big Spender,” Sweet Charity follows the romantic ups and downs of Charity Hope Valentine. A dancer for rent at a run-down dance hall in 1960s New York City, Charity moves through life with a relentless optimism and hopeful spirit. Whether or not Charity makes a match, audiences are sure to find love and laughs.

Raven Whitefawn as Charity and Jahel Duran-Diaz as Oscar.

The Wilkes cast features students Raven Whitefawn, Jay’na Johnson, Olivia Schanbacher, Kasey Karoll, Rachel Kern, Sammie Gashi, Olivia Scarborough, Aari Gould, Maddie Meier, Jahel Duran-Diaz, Kaiden Harris, Isabelle Ruiz, Jack Flynn, Isaiah Brown, Brayton Kominsky, Garrett Kitchen, Rylee Gaskill and Alivia Serkosky.

The musical is directed by Jon Liebetrau with scenic and lighting design by Vandy Scoates.  Music direction is by Linda Houck with original Fosse choreography adapted by Lynne Esgro. The production features costume design by Lisa Streett-Liebetrau with technical direction and sound design by Lee Corcoran-Michaels. Sami Uggla serves as stage manager with Caleb Gething, Mya Banegas and Savannah Evanski serving as assistant stage managers.

Wilkes University Theatre will wrap up the season with a female version of the stage adaptation of William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies from April 20-23.

Purchase tickets for Sweet Charity by calling the box office at 570-408-4540. Tickets are free with ID for Wilkes students, faculty and staff, $20 general admission and $15 for other students/senior citizens.

Parking, including handicapped-accessible options, will be available behind the Henry Student Center located at 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre.

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