"Chaplin: The Musical" has yet to enchant Broadway audiences or critics
"Chaplin," the Broadway musical based on the life of silent film legend Charlie Chaplin will hit the road starting in 2014. The producers of "Chaplin" said Thursday they have put together plans for a U.S. tour and will also put on an international tour.
The announcement is somewhat surprising given "Chaplin's" modest ticket sales. The show grossed $373,040 over the Thanksgiving week, according to the Broadway League. That is not an especially high number for a musical and is lower than grosses for straight dramatic plays like the "Dead Accounts" with Katie Holmes ($402,460, over the same period) and the Tony winner "Peter and the Starcatcher" ($540,463).
Reviews have been middling, with many praising the performance of Rob McClure as the tortured artist behind the Little Tramp, while criticizing the music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis as forgettable.
"'Chaplin: The Musical' takes itself very seriously as it delivers the unsurprising news that a clown cries," Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times. In USA Today, Elysa Gardner found the show intermittently entertaining, but faulted it for having "…enough mawkish melodrama to fuel a dozen silent-film parodies. It's this last aspect that ultimately sinks what might have been an exciting new work."
In addition to Curtis' music and lyrics, "Chaplin: The Musical" boasts a book by three-time Tony Award-winner Thomas Meehan ("Annie," "The Producers"). It opened on Broadway on Sept.10.
The musical premiered in 2010 as "Limelight" at the La Jolla Playhouse to mostly poor reviews.
"Chaplin" is produced on Broadway by the Rich Entertainment Group, John and Claire Caudwell, Roy Gabay, the Viertel Routh Frankel Baruch Group, Chunsoo Shin / Waxman-Dokton and Broadway Across America. AWA Partners is putting together the tour.