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Charlie Chaplin musical to open in September on Broadway

May 10, 2012|By David Ng
  • A scene from "Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin" at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2010, with Rob McClure and Kirsten Scott.
A scene from "Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin" at the… (Craig Schwartz )

A new biographical Charlie Chaplin musical that began in 2010 at the La Jolla Playhouse has set an opening day for Broadway.

"Chaplin" is scheduled to open Sept. 10 at the Barrymore Theatre in New York, with preview performances starting Aug. 21. The musical made its debut two years ago in La Jolla under the title "Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin." The moniker changed to "Becoming Chaplin" following La Jolla and now has been shortened to just "Chaplin."

The show features music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis and a book by Curtis and Tony-winner Thomas Meehan. At La Jolla, Robert McClure played the role of the silent film star, but no casting has been announced for the Broadway run.

Warren Carlyle will direct the musical, as he did at La Jolla.

"Chaplin" follows the life of the film actor and director, who grew up in England but found his biggest success in Hollywood. The musical recounts Chaplin's romance with Oona O'Neill, the daughter of Eugene O'Neill, who became the movie star's fourth and final wife.

During the '50s, Chaplin was accused of Communist sympathies and left the U.S., relocating permanently to Europe.

In his review of the La Jolla production, Times critic Charles McNulty described the musical as a "simplistic summary" of Chaplin's life, bathed in a "a light and lemony schmaltz."

When the musical was announced for Broadway earlier this year, producers stated that the musical has been restructured since its La Jolla run.


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