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CHAPLIN BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: September 10, 2012
Synopsis: From the slums of London to the heights of Hollywood, Chaplin is the showbiz Broadway musical about the silent film legend the world couldn’t stop talking about - Charlie Chaplin. The brand new 22-person musical reveals the man behind the legend, the undeniable genius that forever changed the way America went to the movies.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Where’s Charlie? The question arises more than once during the soppy “Chaplin: The Musical,” which opened on Monday night at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Most obviously and extravagantly, there’s the first-act finale in which our identity-challenged hero, the pioneer movie star Charlie Chaplin (Rob McClure), finds himself surrounded by dancers dressed, as he is, as the Little Tramp, his on-screen alter ego."
"The most treacherous part of producing a biomusical about an iconic performer is finding an actor who can convincingly handle the role. The producers of "Chaplin" -- this fall's first Broadway offering -- have passed that difficult test, with relative newcomer Rob McClure proving a small wonder as the Little Tramp. But they have come up all thumbs, alas, in the writing and staging departments. In the hands of composer-lyricist Chris Curtis (who has penned theme songs for the Discovery Channel) and Curtis' co-librettist Tom Meehan ("Annie," "The Producers"), Chaplin's remarkable life veers into cliche."
"You've probably seen worse musicals than "Chaplin," a forgettable biography of Charlie Chaplin. But how did this slow-paced and sentimental musical, which has the taste of a cup of coffee mixed with a dozen packets of sugar, make it to Broadway?"
"At the crucial emotional juncture of "Chaplin," the new musical about the Englishman who became, for a good while, the most famous movie star in the world, the character Charlie Chaplin sings of the pain that flows from declining interest in his work. "Now the world's changed to color, so what can you do?" goes Christopher Curtis' thudding lyric. "You're still black and white, so now you're old news.""
"It’s hard to know where to begin with “Chaplin,” the dismally dull musical by Christopher Curtis (book, music, lyrics), with an assist from Thomas Meehan (book), based on the life of perhaps the cinema’s finest auteur, Charlie Chaplin. The most the writing aspires to is mediocrity, which it rarely if ever achieves, something Warren Carlyle’s busy direction and choreography can’t disguise. The one performance of note comes from the extremely gifted Rob McClure in the title role, but the show’s relentless shopworn sentimentality erodes even his fine work. Nobody escapes “Chaplin” unscathed."
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