God Golly Miss Molly

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

Mollycharity Not a big fan of Sweet Charity — despite some good songs, it’s a bit dated.  But I never saw the 2005 revival (with Christina Applegate), and the first national tour was coming through North Carolina with Molly Ringwald ("The Breakfast Club", "Pretty in Pink") in the title role.

I was actually pretty impressed.  Molly is, of course, far beyond her John Hughes movie days, but she’s no has-been.  She’s been busy on Broadway, off-Broadway, on the L.A. stage, and the West End (where she played the lead in the stage production of When Harry Met Sally). 

Gone is the baby fat that she had a a teenager, but still there is the full lip pout.  Actually, when she carried that New York accent, she looked like a red-headed Melanie Griffith.

But how was she?  Very good, in fact.  She’s got a wonderful voice.  Who would have thunk? She’s not the strongest dancer, but she didn’t look awkward (just not as energetic as the rest).  And frankly, her character doesn’t need to be.

Acting opposite her was Guy Adkins, who was excellent as Charity’s "weird" but "nice" love interest.  His claustrophobic reaction to be caught in an elevator with Charity was the comic highlight of the evening, 2003299389 as he (literally) climbed the walls.  Not "climbed" — more like "oozed".

The supporting cast was strong, as one would expect from the first national tour.  Gone was the fosse-esque dancing, replaced by the more powerful and fascinating pugilistic choreographic stylings of Wayne Cilento.  The reorchestrations also kicked up the notch on an otherwise dated musical — especially with such songs as "The Rhythm of Life".

All-in-all, a wonderful production.

BLOGGING NOTE:  With any luck, I will be live-blogging the Tonys tonight.