FACTS ABOUT CHAPLIN:
Opened: Original Broadway Production - September 10, 2012
Chaplin Director: Warren Carlyle
Chaplin Music By: Christopher Curtis
Chaplin Lyrics and Book By: Christopher Curtis
Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Tony Award Nominations: 0
Tony Awards Won: 0
Notes: Chaplin premiered initially at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2006, debuted at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2010 before finally making it to Broadway in 2012.
After a series of previews and a warm reception from the theatre community, Chaplin premiered in September 2012 and instantly struck a chord with audiences. Starring Rob McClure as the famous silent film actor, the play follows the young performer from the slums of London to the pinnacle of his popularity in Hollywood. The story of Chaplin's improbable rise from obscurity is at the heart of the production, and McClure has been widely panned as the strength of the biomusical and truly brings the silent movie legend to life in ways that have amazed audiences since the production opened.
The musical chronicles Chaplin's upbringing, the many professional breakthroughs that helped him ascend to the top of the entertainment world, as well as the personal and political scandals that plagued him along the way. Theatre reviewers have raved about McClure's spot-on adaptation of the famous Chaplin, with the same elastic quality to his limbs and the effortless tact for visual illusion that made him such a famous silent movie star.
Throughout the production, Chaplin delves into the backstory behind some of Chaplin's most famous roles, including The Great Dictator and Modern Times. Other stellar performances in the play come from Christiane Noll, who plays Chaplin's mentally ill mother who becomes a major foil for Chaplin's character, who manages to teach him valuable lessons about connecting with an audience, as well as larger themes like love lost, dealing with the trappings of overwhelming success and keeping Chaplin grounded in his humble background.
Chaplin has finished its run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, but soon the show will hit the traveling circuit and should be appearing at theatre houses all over the world. Of course, after McClure's stellar performance as Chaplin, theatre companies will be hard-pressed to find actors that can repeat his natural grace for the role. Thankfully, with such a versatile script and music to work with, theatre goers will have plenty of opportunities to check out Chaplin in the future.