The priceless humor of Charlie Chaplin will be on full display as Philadelphia-based “Not So Silent Cinema” provides live accompaniment to three Chaplin shorts at Bucks County Playhouse on Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m. The presentation is part of the Playhouse’s Visiting Artist Series.
“Not So Silent Cinema” is a project of Philadelphia composer Brendan Cooney, who pens new scores to classic silent films that are then performed live. “Not So Silent Cinema” returns to the Playhouse with the New River Ensemble playing Cooney’s music for three celebrated short comedies that Charlie Chaplin made for the Mutual Film Company: “The Pawnshop” (1916), “The Cure” (1917), and “The Adventurer” (1917). These movies show the rapid evolution of Chaplin’s style from no-holds-barred slapstick to a more nuanced brand of storytelling. The New River Ensemble consists of Brendan Cooney on piano, Martha Hyde on clarinet, and Lisa Liske-Doorandish on cello.
In “The Pawnshop,” one of Chaplin’s most popular farces, he plays an assistant in a pawnshop who must save the day when it becomes the target of a robbery. In “The Cure,” Chaplin plays his Little Tramp character, who decides to forego alcohol — except he forgot his only suitcase is only full of alcohol. And in “The Adventurer,” Chaplin plays an escaped convict on the run from prison guards, who saves a young lady from drowning — while her suitor does everything he can to have Chaplin apprehended by the police.
The three-film, 75-minute program features Chaplin at his comic best. Perhaps the most iconic film star of all time, Chaplin pioneered aspects of acting, directing and writing that shaped the course of cinema history. This program, featuring several short films Chaplin made for Mutual Film Company between 1916-1917, show the rapid evolution of Chaplin’s style from no-holds-barred slapstick to a more nuanced storytelling.
Tickets to “Not So Silent Cinema” are $25, and available online. This event was originally scheduled for March 2, but was postponed due to winter weather. Tickets for the March event will be honored at the door.