The most memorable thing about the 2005 revival of Sweet Charity will probably be the story of how the show's star Christina Applegate single-handedly (or so the media reports would have us believe) saved the show from being canceled before it even got to Broadway. The cast recording demonstrates that while it is good and on par with other musicals of the same season, it does not stand out from the crowd. Applegate can sing, but she puts on an almost too cutesy ingenuousness. To someone unfamiliar with the show, without the visual aid of the staging or even a plot synopsis, her affectation makes it hard to tell what Charity's motivations are, and therefore, hard to sympathize with the character. The way she sings the beginning of "If My Friends Could See Me Now" could be taken as sarcasm instead of awestruck delight. "There's Gotta Be Something Better than This" is slightly more natural sounding. The rest of the cast is better, with a more realistic feel to their characterizations, although there is still room for the taxi-dancers in "Big Spender" and movie star Vittorio Vidal in "Too Many Tomorrows" to be even broader caricatures. The disc includes bonus tracks from Cy Coleman's demo of the score, complete with 1960s canned reverb, and a brief, live performance by Coleman on piano and Dorothy Fields singing "Big Spender."
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AllMusic Review by Patsy Morita
|Sweet Charity, musical|