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IVCC’s spring musical, ‘Sweet Charity’ takes stage

Aelsa Butler and Lindsay Bennett

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IVCC’s production of Sweet Charity opened in the Cultural Center on April 20.

The musical, which runs this weekend as well and closes on Sunday, is directed by Don Grant Zellmer and produced by IVCC Theater professor David Kuester.

As the leading lady, Ashley Hurst plays Charity Hope Valentine, a hopeful dance hall hostess in 1966, trying to find real love and happiness in a shallow, sex-obsessed atmosphere.

The musical follows her through her experiences and interactions with three different men as she heads toward ultimate satisfaction in herself.

While well-acted and performed, the writing of the 1966 Broadway musical itself left something to be desired. Much of the dialogue was unnatural and the ending took a sudden twist that was too unexpected to feel right.

There were characters early on in the play who got a lot of time on stage, and even some character development, that left and never came back, leaving some question regarding their purpose.

That said, the last few moments of the musical served as a bookend that reflected the first scene in a way that both tied it to and contrasted it with the beginning, poignantly solidifying the true theme of the musical, even if only in the last two minutes.

Musically, it was enjoyable. The songs were generally clever and entertaining, utilizing IVCC’s stage talent well. The numbers were reveling in the dazzle and upbeat sounds of the 60’s, mixing the sexual revolution and class as the audience was brought back to older times.

The cast is full of talented people who clearly were giving their all, endearing us to them as they danced, sang and performed their hearts out as we watched this 60s musical take life on the stage.

Hurst’s performance, both acting and vocal, was admirable, and Brokaw’s interpretation of Oscar Lindquist was also convincing and humorous. The rest of the crew gave life to all the background characters, making up a vibrant group that brings the audience into the mood and involves them in the story.

To enjoy the IVCC Theater Department’s performance of this comedic musical by Neil Simon, you can head to CTC and pick up tickets in the Box Office starting one hour before the show. Tickets are free for students with ID.

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
Spend a little time with them