Sweet Charity launches Reprise 2.0 Productions at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse June 1 to July 1


Sweet Charity stars Laura Bell Bundy and Barrett Foa (photos by Michael Lamont)

The title character in the 1966 musical SWEET CHARITY is a blissfully naive girl in search of love. Well, the incurable romantic Charity Hope Valentine has finally found the adoration she’s been seeking with the REPRISE 2.0 production of Sweet Charity. The show is perfection with its casting of the vibrant Laura Bell Bundy (Broadway’s Legally Blonde) as Charity, and the incredibly gifted actor-singer Barrett Foa (NCIS: LA) as Oscar, sort of a Prince Charming with a boatload of neurosis.

There is everything to love about this musical comedy playing at UCLA’S Freud Playhouse in Los Angeles from June 20 to July 1. Sweet Charity is being presented as the inaugural production for the relaunch of REPRISE 2.0 dedicated to presenting crowd-pleasing theatrical gems.

Sweet Charity is just a blast of a musical because it’s fabulous and has so many songs that everybody knows including ‘Big Spender’ and ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now.’ It is a collaboration of some of Broadway’s legendary talents with hilarious dialogue by Neil Simon, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields.

“The original had Bob Fosse doing the choreography, but our REPRISE 2.0 production is directed and choreographed by one of Broadway’s most celebrated artists, three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall. Plus, we have assembled the perfect cast, headed by Laura Bell Bundy, Barrett Foa, and Jon Jon Briones. And we have a full orchestra on stage conducted by Musical Director Gerald Sternbach to focus on the incredible score,” said Marcia Seligson, Artistic Director of REPRISE 2.0, and herself a mighty force in the theater world. “Great shows need to be brought back and that’s what we’ll do with REPRISE 2.0. That was our goal when I started the original Reprise! 20 years ago.”

Charity is played with a feel-good effervescence by Laura Bell Bundy, who was a Tony Award nominee for Legally Blonde on Broadway. Barrett Foa, who most people know from the drama NCIS: Los Angeles, also has impressive musical talents with Avenue Q and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among his credits.

Jon Jon Briones at the Fandango Dance Hall

“Sweet Charity is being presented with a groovy ‘60s vibe that has all the quirks of that era in gritty New York City, from dance hall hostesses to people finding the Rhythm of Life church on the eve of the sexual revolution,” explained Foa, who plays Charity’s boyfriend. “Thanks to my character’s neurosis we ‘meet cute’ when I freak out on an elevator and she calms me down. Neil Simon is a genius packing the show with such great comedy and characters. Then there’s all the singing and dancing. This show has everything going for it.”

There’s a great supporting cast of professionals with Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon), Terron Brooks, Krystal Joy Brown, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Ashley Loren, Robert Mammana, and many other outstanding singers and dancers.

The producing artistic director Marcia Seligson announced more rarely seen musical gems are coming for the REPRISE 2.0 2018 season with Carmen Cusack in Victor/Victoria (September 5 – 16), directed by Richard Israel, choreographed by John Todd; and Grand Hotel – The Musical (October 24 – November 4) directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and choreographed by Kay Cole. All will be seen at UCLA’s intimate 586-seat Freud Playhouse in partnership with UCLA TFT’s Department of Theater.

Focusing on the glorious score and performances the classic Broadway hit Sweet Charity plays from June 20 to July 1 at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. Single tickets are now on sale at www.Reprise2.org or by phone at 800-982-2787. Subscription packages are available by phone at 1-866-811-4111 or go to www.Reprise2.org.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.