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Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Broadway on TV: Chaplin

In just 31 seconds, the rapid fire visuals and perfectly chosen quotes in the voiceover highlight and emphasize all of the very best of Chaplin: The Musical.  In short, it does exactly what a commercial should do: it heightens the senses and pushes all of the intended audience's buttons.  You'd never know the show got mixed reviews!


 Here are all of the reasons I think this commercial works:
  1. Introduction of an icon:  The snappy music that accompanies the actual "Chaplin to Tramp" transformation starts the commercial off by cutting right to the chase.  We see Chaplin as most of the world recognizes him - in choppy black and white.  The voiceover tells us that the film icon is now a stage icon.  Cut to...
  2. Theatrical visuals of famous filmed moments:  Quick cuts of Chaplin doing on stage what we've only ever seen on film.  Walking the tightrope, the Tramp walk, the tiny bicycle, being dragged by a giant rope... yes, they can and ARE done live on stage.  Live is even more thrilling than film! 
  3. The Broadway sound:  How do you draw musical lovers to the TV screen?  Play the catchy Broadway style of "Life is Just Like the Movies"...
  4. The Broadway look: Flashy, sparkly costumes, worn by leggy, smiling chorines who kickline, strut, whirl and twirl into the arms of strong, good-looking men.  Add spectacle - jumping through hoops, Charleston steps against a wedding motif, and end with a bright red curtain.  Bravo!
  5. The quotes: "Remarkable!" a catchy word that is impossibly positive and perfectly nebulous.  "Rob McClure is a star!" Doesn't matter if you don't know who he is... the commercial proves he's charismatic, multi-talented and easy to look at.  The quote confirms what our eyes have to be telling us, right?
  6. Rob McClure: Child-like wonder (check out his eyes and smile at the hand-cranked film projector), mad skills - see #2 - as Chaplin as the Tramp, and mad skills with the ladies (check out the lip lock he lays on Erin Mackey).  Clearly he deserves the role.

At first, I wondered why Jenn Colella doesn't get featured.  Then I figured, with just 31 seconds, you need to sell the fact that the life of Charlie Chaplin can work on a stage, not just a movie theater.  And you have to sell the amazing leading man.  No show called Chaplin can work without an excellent Chaplin.  Let Ms. Colella be the great surprise when you see the show!

The only drawback for me (and remember, I've seen the whole show) is that the film cuts are so fast and furious that to really catch it all, you need to see the commercial a few times.  I think it is good enough to warrant that much attention, but is it enough to get people to "visit Telecharge.com" right away.  I hope so.

Grade: A


Before you go...
  • ...have you enter to WIN TICKETS to SCANDALOUS?  CLICK the SCANDALOUS logo at the top right!
  • ...have you voted in this week's HOT or NOT? ANNIE, Part 1.  CLICK HERE. You have until 8 PM tonight!
  • ... have you checked out this week's FACE OF THE FUTURE? CLICK HERE and say, "hello!"
  • ...have you VOTED in this month's THEATRE POLL? CLICK your answer on the poll in the left column!
Jeff
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