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Experience Live Music Accompaniment Of Chaplin Classics At Olde Brick

December 26, 2018
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Experience Live Music Accompaniment Of Chaplin Classics At Olde Brick

Experience the legendary work of Charlie Chaplin in a new way at a screening of silent films with live musical accompaniment.

The Olde Brick Theatre, rear 126 W. Market St., Scranton, will show two films from 1916 — “Behind the Screen” and “One A.M.” — that Chaplin wrote and directed on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. The group Nefarious Musical Accompaniment for Silent Films will provide music, featuring Katie Morell on clarinet and bass clarinet; Jason Smeltzer on theremin, gong and narration; and Mark Reinhart on guitar.

The group previously screened other Chaplin work after Paige Balitski — founder of Diva Theater, a troup that operates out of the Olde Brick — suggested holding such a program to Smeltzer.

“I was lucky enough to have a few people available who would make it easy for me (to add the music),” he said. “That was the pilot episode, and it went very well. And we filled the place and thought we ought to do it again.”

In the short “Behind the Screen,” Chaplin portrays a film studio employee who helps a woman find work as his coworkers go on strike. “One A.M.,” another short, shows Chaplin’s drunken character try to enter his home late at night.

“This one will be the first time we’re trying really fun comedy stuff,” Smeltzer said.

Known for his signature bowler hat and trimmed mustache, Chaplin was born in London, England, in April 1889 and created such legendary films as 1921’s “The Kid” and 1931’s “City Lights.” While he wrote music during his long career — including the well-known piece “Smile” and the Oscar-winning original score for “Limelight” — Chaplin did not compose anything for either of the films the Olde Brick will show, Smeltzer noted. The musical accompaniment will reference some Chaplin films, he added, and they’ll “sneak in” two other well-known Chaplin songs.

Smeltzer said the silent Chaplin films just make audiences giddy.

“I narrate a little bit, too, so they giggle at all the right places,” he said. “They’re excited about the next thing coming.”

Contact the writer:

cwest@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5107;

@cheaneywest on Twitter

If you go

What: “Behind the Screen” and “One A.M.” screenings featuring Nefarious Musical Accompaniment for Silent Films

When: Saturday, Dec. 29, 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Olde Brick Theatre, rear 126 W. Market St., Scranton.

Details: Tickets cost $5 and will be available at the door. For more information, call 570-209-7766.

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