The Broadway Musical Blog – Musical theater news and gossip from the Great White Way

Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (broadwaymusicalhome.com), a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for Wayne Alan Wilcox

The Reviews for Chaplin are In…

The reviews for Chaplin are in…and they aren’t too sunny. Filled with clichés, the critics are not finding much good in this take on the little tramp. With unmemorable music and tiresome dance numbers, even the talents of relative newcomer Rob McClure can’t escape the show’s terrible writing unscathed; this is one show that’ll have to rely on its fans to get it through, cause these reviews sure aren’t going to help…

See for yourself:

NEW YORK TIMES

“This sour-smell-of-success story, which features songs by Christopher Curtis and a book by Mr. Curtis and Thomas Meehan, is steeped in a sense that Chaplin the person, as opposed to Chaplin the fabled silent comedian, has gone missing in action, devoured by a swarm of man-eating clichés….“Chaplin: The Musical” takes itself very seriously as it delivers the unsurprising news that a clown cries….The lens through which we see most of “Chaplin,” is blurred, as if with Vaseline….Yet a stolidly conventional heart beats beneath these airy trappings: a by-the-book rags-to-riches-to-loneliness saga, underscored by vaporous music (which includes, I swear, celestial choruses of “aahs”) and vaguely period dances that go on forever without going anywhere.”

Read the full Chaplin Review

VARIETY

“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.”

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AM NEW YORK

“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? The songs of Christopher Curtis – who has previously written theme songs for the Discovery Channel – are occasionally tuneful but mostly tacky. Still, they are far better than the show’s melodramatic and strange book.”

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Despite an enigmatic, career-making performance from Rob McClure in the title role, an earnest turn from Wayne Alan Wilcox as his tag-along brother Sydney, and an engaging performance from Erin Mackey as Chaplin’s late-in-life love Oona, “Chaplin” is a musical where the material is just not up to the complexity of its enigmatic subject. It’s impossible to believe that the creator of such masterpieces as “Modern Times” and “The Gold Rush” would express himself in such prosaic, cliched terms.”

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BACKSTAGE

“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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