*The new musical about the revered actor Chaplin – with music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis and book by Thomas Meehan and Christopher Curtis under the sensational direction of Warren Carlyle who also owns the crisp choreography — opened on Broadway on Monday, September 10, 2012 at the Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street, Times Square, NYC) to a star-studded audience.
Famous for his Little Tramp character, the sweet little man with a bowler hat, mustache, and cane, Chaplin was one of film’s first superstars, elevating the industry in a way few could have ever imagined. His character Charlie the Tramp relied on pantomime and quirky movements to became an iconic figure of the silent film era.
Chaplin The Musical is an exquisite throwback to yesteryear beautifully framed around one of the silent movies’ most cherished actors who filled theaters with laughter and made the whole world laugh. The play that takes the audience from the slums of London to the heights of Hollywood is about the silent film legend the world couldn’t stop talking about. The brand new 24-person musical reveals the man behind the legend, the undeniable genius that forever changed the way America went to the movies.
Chaplin The Musical stars Rob McClure in the title role, and also features Jim Borstelmann (Alf Reeves), Jenn Colella (Hedda Hopper), Erin Mackey (Oona O’Neill), Michael McCormick (Sennett, McGranery, Emcee), Christiane Noll (Hannah Chaplin), Zachary Unger (Young Charlie, Jackie) and Wayne Alan Wilcox (Sydney Chaplin).
The production also includes Justin Bowen, Emilee Dupré, Sara Edwards, Leslie Donna Flesner, Lisa Gajda, Timothy Hughes, Ethan Khusidman, Ian Liberto, Renée Marino, Michael Mendez, Sarah O’Gleby, Hayley Podschun, Adam Rogers, William Ryall, Eric Santagata and Emily Tyra.
The creative team for Chaplin The Musical includes Beowulf Boritt (scenic design); Amy Clark (costume design); Martin Pakledinaz (lighting design); Ken Billington (lighting design); Scott Lehrer & Drew Levy (sound design); Jon Driscoll (projection design); and Bryan Perri (musical director).
Chaplin The Musical is presented on Broadway by Rich Entertainment Group, John & Claire Caudwell, Roy Gabay, Viertel Routh Frankel Baruch Group, Chunsoo Shin/Waxman-Dokton, Broadway Across America by special arrangement with Bubbles Incorporated S.A. & Roy Expert, S.A.S. The play brought out many of the top guns of Broadway including the Ethel Barrymore Theatre chairman Philip J. Smith. At show’s end, the upbeat crowd headed over to the beauteous Gotham Hall where they partied all night long. (Photos courtesy Broadway.com)
*WAR HORSE, the 2011 TonyAward-winning Best Play and international sensation seen by over 2 million people worldwide, will conclude its Broadway run Sunday, January 6, 2013 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 West 65th Street, NYC, as the longest-running Tony Award-winning Best Play of the last decade. At time of closing, the production will have played 718 performances and 33 previews.
The National Theatre of Great Britain’s production of WAR HORSE, presented by Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of André Bishop and Bernard Gersten), the National Theatre of Great Britain (under the direction of Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr) and Bob Boyett, swept the 2011 theater awards winning five Tony Awards including Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Best Play, three Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Play and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play.
“It has been our great honor and pleasure to help bring War Horse to Broadway,” said André Bishop, Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater. “War Horse is that rare play that brings joy to everyone it touches- from the most avid theatergoers to children, seeing their first Broadway show. There are few theatrical experiences that can be categorized as truly magical and everyone at LCT is thrilled to have been a part of this one.”
“From its earliest days at the National Theatre workshop, War Horse has been a very special and unique project,” added Nick Starr, Executive Director of the National Theatre of Great Britain. “Its journey from a rehearsal space to the National Theatre stage to Tony Award-winning play and international sensation has been thrilling and unprecedented. In 2013, War Horse will launch productions in Australia and Berlin, plus a UK tour, and planning is already underway for engagements in Asia and South Africa. I think it’s safe to say this show’s journey is far from over.”
“Working with these two great theatres to bring a once-in-a-generation theatrical experience to Broadway is, for me, a source of deep personal pride and a highlight in my career,” said producer Bob Boyett. “War Horse is theatre at its best: magical, moving, and invigorating. I’m so grateful to have been a part of bringing such an inspired and inspiring piece of theatre to New York.”
In addition to New York, WAR HORSE has major productions running in London, Toronto, and a newly-launched US national tour which will visit 30 cities in the 2012-2013 season. Future productions of WAR HORSE are planned for Australia, Berlin, and a UK tour.
Set at the dawn of World War I, WAR HORSE tells the powerful and uplifting story of young Albert, his beloved horse Joey, and the unimaginable obstacles they overcome both individually and together. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. Filled with stirring music and some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time, WAR HORSE is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, and an unforgettable theatrical experience.
The production won numerous special awards including a special Tony Award for the Handspring Puppet Company, a citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle, a special Drama Desk Award to the Creative Team for Thrilling Stagecraft and a special Outer Critics Circle Award to the Handspring Puppet Company. Michael Morpurgo’s novel, War Horse, was also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s feature film of the same name, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.
The US tour opened to rave reviews in June 2012 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The tour is currently in San Francisco and will go on to visit Dallas, Atlanta, Durham, Boston, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, East Lansing, Des Moines, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Tempe, Seattle, Portland, Spokane, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Providence, Minneapolis, and Appleton. For the full tour schedule, please visit warhorseonstage.com.
In New York, the cast of 37 features Stephen James Anthony, Toby Billowitz, Alyssa Bresnahan, Lute Breuer, Hunter Canning, Anthony Cochrane, Richard Crawford, Sanjit de Silva, Andrew Durand, Joel Reuben Ganz, Ben Graney, Alex Hoeffler, Leah Hofmann, Ben Horner, Brian Lee Huynh, Jeslyn Kelly, Tessa Klein, David Lansbury, Tom Lee, Jonathan Christopher MacMillan, David Manis, Jonathan David Martin, Nat McIntyre, Andy Murray, David Pegram, Kate Pfaffl, Jude Sandy, Tommy Schrider, Hannah Sloat, Jack Spann, Elliot Villar, Enrico D. Wey, Isaac Woofter, Katrina Yaukey and Madeleine Rose Yen.
WAR HORSE received its World Premiere in a limited engagement at the National’s Olivier Theatre in 2007. The play returned to the National Theatre for a second run playing from in 2008-2009 before transferring to the West End’s New London Theatre in spring 2009 where it continues its sold out open-ended run.
The performance schedule for WAR HORSE at Lincoln Center Theater is Tuesday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets to WAR HORSE, priced from $50 to $135, are available at the Lincoln Center Theater box office (150 West 65 Street), at telecharge.com or by visiting WarHorseOnBroadway.com.
This production of WAR HORSE is sponsored by American Express.
Audrey J. Bernard, based in New York City, is an established chronicler of theater happenings.