"Chaplin: The Musical" Opens at Barrymore Theatre, NYC on Sept. 10th ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, September 06, 2012

"Chaplin: The Musical" Opens at Barrymore Theatre, NYC on Sept. 10th

From the slums of London to the heights of Hollywood, "Chaplin: The Musical" is the showbiz Broadway musical about the silent film legend the world couldn’t stop talking about — Charlie Chaplin. It reveals the man behind the legend, the undeniable genius who forever changed the way America went to the movies. The show is running into early next year at Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue). Previews began August 21, 2012 and opening night is September 10, 2012.

Chaplin is a fascinating drama about Charlie Chaplin's life off-screen. The first act starts with the story of Charlie's youth, where his mostly absent father was a drunk and his mother went mad and left him in a workhouse at a young age. At a later age, Charlie followed in his mother's footsteps and went into vaudeville on the London stage and this is where he was discovered by California movie mogul Mack Sennett. Not accustom to working with the slapstick of the movies, Chaplin invents his "Little Tramp" character in response to Sennett's demands that he needs to 'do something funny' or he will be fired. Act Two tells the story of Charlie's meteoric rise in Hollywood, where he reached the point of running his own studio. It also tells the story of the tragedies and insecurities within his personal life. Charlie had a number of high-profile, messy divorces and seemed to be haunted by his mother's illness throughout her lifetime. Chaplin's fatal misstep though was ignoring gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, who responded to Chaplin's snub by attempting to have the U.S. government, during the height of McCarthyism, investigate Chaplin as an alleged Communist. The story/play ends on a happy note with Chaplin's marriage to Oona O'Neill and his return to the United States in 1972 to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Leading man Rob McClure is absolutely brilliant as Chaplin. The New York Times did a fairly big write-up on McClure and, in this piece, he had the following to say about his immersion into the Chaplin character: "There’s been a bit of a Chaplin boot camp, with tightrope and roller-skating and violin lessons...Every time I think, ‘Oh God, how am I going to learn all this?,’ I remember he did it. Chaplin did it all.

Tickets for the show start at $66.50 and are available through TeleCharge.

Chaplin the Musical