Sweet Charity, composed by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and book by Neil Simon, opened on January 29, 1966, at the Palace Theatre. The musical is based on the screenplay Nights of Cabiria by Federico Fellini. The original production was conceived by Bob Fosse for his wife, Tony winner Gwen Verdon, who played Charity opposite John McMartin as Oscar.
The show also featured Helen Gallagher, James Luisi, Thelma Oliver, and Arnold Soboloff. Nominated for nine Tony Awards, it took home the trophy for Fosse’s choreography, which includes the immortal “Rich Man’s Frug.” Among the score’s standouts are “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” and “I’m a Brass Band.”
Look Back at Gwen Verdon in Sweet Charity on Broadway