We sat down with our Artistic Director, Dan Sullivan, who is directing, choreographing, and costuming our production of "Sweet Charity" to find out more about the show!
How long have you been involved with WFS? My first production with WFS was in 1999. I played the other boy in town in “The Music Man”. It was my first show ever. However, I had been coming to Friendly rehearsal ever since I can remember while my mom directed shows. After “Music Man”, I was in many other shows including “Annie”(2006), “Brigadoon”, and “Singing in the Rain”. In 2013 I made my directing debut with “Gypsy” and have been directing for Friendly ever since, including “State Fair”, “Annie”(2018), and the Moss Hart Award Winning “White Christmas”.
What made you choose to do “Sweet Charity”? In choosing this years season it was all loosely based on the idea of “What is success”? And despite the way the story plays out I do think Charity has success at the end. And without giving too much of a spoiler, while Charity’s ending has success, it greatly questions what that means.
As a fan of “Sweet Charity”, what’s your favorite musical number? Definitely “Baby, Dream Your Dream”
As the choreographer, what’s your favorite musical number? It’s a tie - I love getting to know the style of Fosse intimately through “Rich Man’s Frug”. But I also love working on “Brass Band’, cause that’s definitely more in my wheelhouse.
How are you inspired by Bob Fosse as a director and as a choreographer? In general, as a choreographer, everything I do is a combo of Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins. In terms of style those are the two that inspire me the most. But Fosse specifically because of his attention to stupid detail. It’s amazing how having an actor adjust the height of their hand can change the entire picture onstage, and that’s what Fosse did to a T. As a director, it was his attention to every individual on stage that inspires me. Fosse really drilled that there is not a moment you are onstage that you are not seen. Somebody is always watching you, and because of that you always have to be present. That’s what I try to incorporate into all of my work. Fosse encouraged each actor to find their story in the background scene even if it was not part of the plot the show was presenting. And sometimes to even take that further: figure out how and why your background story fits into the plot the show is presenting.
What are three words you would use to describe this production? Fun. Laughs. Good times.