It seems particularly fitting when local-girl-does-good Molly Ringwald belts out Sweet Charity’s signature song “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” After all, Roseville was Ringwald’s hometown for the first 10 years of her life, and here she is, pretty in red and starring in the touring production of the Broadway Series Sweet Charity.
The opening night crowd welcomed her back. Most probably didn’t know Ringwald from the Sacramento area, but rather from her Brat Pack days when she starred in teen flicks like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. But they embraced the redhead, even if she didn’t send Sacramento a shout-out from the stage during the crowd’s ovation.
Ringwald has a lot going for her. She’s a natural comedic actress, and has pipes honed from singing with her father’s band at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. On stage, she looks like she’s working her tail off, and the audience responds to her funny moments. What Ringwald lacks, however, is the natural poise and stylish footwork of a musical star. Instead of projecting ease and the joy of the moment, she’s visibly concentrating on putting her best Bob Fosse footwork forward.
Understandably, the scene that steals the show is a sweet, funny moment that requires no major dancing: a tender interplay in a stuck elevator. Actually, you could count the amazing claustrophobic contortions of charming co-star Guy Adkins as dancing. He defies gravity as he scales walls and ceilings, and creates imaginative fetal positions, while being comforted by an endearing Ringwald.
The sparse, simple sets of Sweet Charity are enhanced by creative lighting and various panels and curtains. Colorful costumes add pizzazz to pop out the performers, as well as an enthusiastic supporting cast.