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Traveling production “Sweet Charity,” benefit for DPAO, features Watertown native

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Kate E. Comet has been in more than two dozen Watertown Lyric Theater productions since her first role in 1992 as a Munchkin egg. That role, when she was 8, hatched a love for the stage.

“I just like seeing the audience smile,” the 2008 graduate of Watertown High School said. “It’s an indescribable feeling when you’re on stage and you’re looking at everybody and they’re so mesmerized at what’s going on. All eyes are on you to see what you can do.”

Windwood Theatricals, which produces traveling shows that have been on Broadway, will give Miss Comet another chance to shine on Saturday, March 1, when it brings the musical “Sweet Charity” to Watertown as a “spring” benefit for the Disabled Persons Action Organization.

Joseph L. Rich, DPAO foundation president and former agency executive director, said the organization likes to include local talent when it brings in its annual spring touring production.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the person going on to understand more about what being in a Broadway show is like and to better understand what some of the pros and cons are of that business,” Mr. Rich said.

Miss Comet, daughter of Jeffrey M. and Christine M. Comet, Watertown, sent Windwood Theatricals a resume and an audition tape, which led to her selection as Rosie in “Sweet Charity.”

It’s not a large role, but Miss Comet is looking forward to joining the touring professionals on stage. She sings a few lines of the song “I Cry at Weddings” in Act 2, Scene 8, and she also will be seen acting in Act 2, Scene 6.

“Sweet Charity” is a Bob Fosse dance musical based on Federico Fellini’s screenplay for “Nights of Cabiria.” Fellini’s black-and-white Italian film concerned the romantic ups and downs of an ever-hopeful prostitute. In the musical, the central character is a dancer for hire at a Times Square dance hall.

The dancer, Charity Valentine, is an eternal optimist. While working at the seedy Fan-Dango ballroom, where the motto is “Hey Big Spender,” she often thinks that “There Must Be Something Better Than This.” She seems to have met a decent fellow in Oscar.

Neil Simon wrote the book for “Sweet Charity,” which opened in 1966 on Broadway, where it played for 608 performances. Broadway revivals were staged in 1996 and 2005.

Miss Comet is a 2011 graduate of Jefferson Community College. Earlier this winter, she completed a two-year conservatory program in musical theater at the American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York City.

Miss Comet said she studied everything from jazz to stage production.

“It was intense training, but it was really worth it,” she said.

In June, Miss Comet will continue her education at the American Music and Dramatic Academy, but at its West Hollywood campus, with an emphasis on film. But before she departs, local audiences can see Miss Comet playing one of the “Laker Girls” when Watertown Lyric Theater stages “Spamalot” on April 4 and 5 and April 11 and 12.

“They say that when you love to do something, it’s not work,” Miss Comet said. “It’s not work for me. It’s playtime.”

The details
WHAT: “Sweet Charity” presented by the Disabled Persons Action Organization Foundation
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at the Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St.
COST: General admission tickets are $30, reserved seating is $40 and gold seating is $62.50. Gold seating features prime seats.
To purchase advance tickets, call the DPAO at 782-0044 or 800-533-2859.
OF NOTE: All show proceeds will go toward the installation of new siding on DPAO’s corporate offices at 617 Davidson St.
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