Ironically I saw Chaplin's Shoes on 38th and Lex the day before I went to see the play and here is a quick shot before the Chaplin the musical started. My phone was turned off after taking this quick shot, I like when I see a musical or play or any live entertainment how I'm forced out of courtesy to disconnect from the digital world and sit back and absorb a story, the songs and the creativity for a couple hours.
I kind of felt like I was visiting a nursing home, my husband and I were one of the youngest ones there but it didn't mean this older crowd was prim and respectful.
It really bothers me how rude people are in the audience the moment the lights dim, shuffling in their purse for ten minutes right behind me, razzling with plastic bags, talking way too loudly, another cell phone goes off, or old man sighs again and blows his nose five times above my head, jeez, can people just sit still and enjoy someone preforming anymore! I must have whispered SHHH about four times during the first act. An older lady lost her glasses during the show and during the Intermission my husband was on his hands and knees helping her find them, which he did find...she was one of the loudest people behind me too and I almost wished he hadn't found her glasses.
Also I hated how when the show was over a girl about my age said, "It kinda dragged on, but it was good." At least she said it was good, but dragged on?? Umm, no. Sure, if you don't know it's a musical about the biography of an amazing man's life, a timeline of his highs and lows, struggles and passions, and if you can't appreciate that a musical isn't just a song and dance, it's a story, then of course, you might not like this show. This is not Mary Poppins. For the sake of respect, if someone is on a stage singing a song or acting, shut the hell up!
You wouldn't think this is Rob McClure's Broadway debut, he was amazing, and I could see why he was chosen to be Chaplin, sure his mannerisms were on point but he also put the heart and sincerity into Chaplin's persona. Zachary Unger, who played young Chaplin was impressive, the costumes for the whole cast stood out and I loved all the little details.
I thought the sense of a timeline of Chaplin's life was similar to Evita, but totally different at the same time. My favorite part was when you get to see the way the Tramp's persona and character was created from Chaplin's memories of the people on the street in London. The shoes, hat, the cane, the coat. And later it was bittersweet to see how his creative concepts for his films reflected his own hardships and sorrow of his childhood, and his yearning to be a success and create himself, which he did and did well. Like the changing times today of the digital world and Internet world, and how it has effected so many companies and brands and stores and businesses, the silent movie age becoming the talking movie age clashed and crushed Chaplin's creative soul. Change was not something he seemed to deal with well, as he wanted to keep that moment in time alive when he was special because he led the silent movie era.
((I do see how in the present day the Internet-age, people transitioning to new media and the way we communicate changing it is hard for those who want "the old way" back. I like to think we can live in a world where people have both and can be both. Someone who is very Internet savvy with the social media wave, but also be a great communicator face to face as well as compassionate and can slow down for a moment and notice the little things in life which are the biggest things to the heart, mind and soul, and not hid behind a computer screen or mobile phone as if there is a stage curtain over shadowing their true self.))
Chaplin had heart, and I think that's also why he is remembered. But if you just want to see a man dressed up in the hat and cane and doing the walk then don't go see this musical, because it's a lot more deep, a lot more creative and heartfelt. The costume, the character, wasn't all he was and this musical shows the behind the scenes life of the passion he had, the remarkable belief he had in himself and how nothing lasts forever.
Personally, as an entrepreneur with a dreamer's heart, I had some tears in my eyes during the last song,"This Man."
I've seen four musicals during the past month! And this is the one I'd see again!
Go see the play, check out the website here.
Read about the Broadway show here and , who plays Chaplin on stage: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/theater/rob-mcclure-is-charlie-chaplin-at-barrymore-theater.html?pagewanted=all
Learn more about Chaplin's films here: http://www.charliechaplin.com/
Did you know Charlie Chaplin was only about 5'5" in height..rock on short success stories! You should buy some of Chaplin's movies here.