Chaplin: The Musical – 2012
About Chaplin By Thomas Meehan Nearly a century ago, in 1913, Charles Spencer Chaplin, twenty-four years old and all but penniless, arrived in Hollywood. He was an unknown, small-time, London music hall performer taking on a fifteen-dollar-a-week-job as a supporting player in Mack Sennett’s two-reel slapstick movies. Within eight years Charlie Chaplin had become the most famous man in the world as well as one of the richest, having produced, directed, written and starred in his first feature-length film, The Kid, in which he played the role of the Tramp. Chaplin deals with this amazing man and his astonishing rags-to-riches career. It is a richly melodic and thrilling new musical that tells the Chaplin story from his beginnings in utter poverty in the slums of south London, all the way to his last years as a maligned exile in Switzerland. But Chaplin is not in any sense strictly biographical. Instead, moving backward and forward in time, it explores the inner Chaplin and how an obscure nobody became Hollywood’s greatest and most talented star. The audience may be surprised to discover a painfully wretched childhood that included his father’s death from drunkenness, his mother’s descent into life-long schizophrenic madness and his own four years in a brutal Dickensian workhouse for boys. Nonetheless, Chaplin overcomes his youthful sorrows and converts them into cinematic art. Chaplin is really about a man who had to become the most famous man in the world before he could find happiness by becoming his true self. It is a bright, often funny, happily tuneful and ultimately moving new musical.
Charlie Chaplin: Rob McClure Hannah Chaplin: Christiane Noll Young Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan: Zachary Unger Boy/Usher: Ethan Khusidman Sydney Chaplin: Wayne Alan Wilcox Alf Reeves: Jim Borstelmann Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin Sr., McGranery: Michael McCormick Hedda Hopper: Jenn Colella Oona O’Neill: Erin Mackey Mr. Karno, Villain, Jesse Robbins, First Car Thief, Awards Broadcaster: William Ryall Mildred Harris, Gloria: Hayley Podschun Paulette Goddard, Mrs. Coogan, First Chorus Girl: Sarah O’Gleby Lita Grey, Molly, Second Chorus Girl: Emily Tyra Hedda’s Secretary, Hanwell Nurse: Lisa Gajda John Frueler, Hanwell Guard, Cop, Second Car Thief: Timothy Hughes Mabel: Sara Edwards Fatty Arbuckle, Thomas Tally: Michael Mendez Fifteen-Year-Old Girl: Renée Marino Joan Barry: Emilee Dupré Londoners, Music Hall Patrons, Film Crew and Reporters: Justin Bowen, Leslie Donna Flesner, Ian Liberto, Adam Rogers, Eric Santagata Music and Lyrics by Christopher Curtis Orchestrations: Larry Hochman Additional Orchestrations: Jonathan Tunick, Michael Starobin Music Coordinator: Howard Joines Orchestra Bryan Perri, Music Director, Conductor, piano David Gardos, Associate Conductor, keyboard Charles Pillow, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet, soprano and alto saxophones Alden Banta, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, tenor and baritone saxophones Dan Urness, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn David Peel, horn Michael Blanco, bass Shannon Ford, drums, percussion Drew Simpson, drums, percussion Erin Benim, violin Tara Chambers, cello All songs published by Christopher Patrick Curtis Music (ASCAP)