This is "Chaplin: A Life in Concert", a unique and very special multi-media Musical Event which dramatizes, through song, the life story of the brilliant and controversial artist, Charlie Chaplin.
The show stars Multi-Platinum Award-Winning Performer/Composer, David Pomeranz, who also penned the Music and Lyrics (and co-Book with Steven David Horwich.) Pomeranz, in an unprecedented musical performance tour-de-force, brilliantly and seamlessly portrays more than 25 of the colorful characters in Charlie's life, all from the helm of a concert Grand. In an experience that has to be seen to be believed, David stages this show in the tradition of such great performances as Chaz Palminteri in "A Bronx Tale" or the famous Broadway turns of Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal.
"Chaplin: A Life in Concert" opens backstage at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1971 where Chaplin is to receive an honorary Life Achievement Award. Having been falsely accused of being a Communist and banned from re-entry into the United States 20 years earlier, the 82 year old Chaplin is both bitter and afraid as to how he'll be accepted by the crowd. He struggles with what to say to them when accepting the award. Left alone to rest, he falls asleep and remembers the events that lead him to the fateful moment. From his early childhood on the impoverished streets of London, to his creation of one of the world's most iconic characters and Chaplin's ultimate legacy…The Tramp, it finally becomes clear what he must do.
Part Concert; part Stage Musical, "Chaplin: A Life in Concert" is an imaginative, emotional and inspiring journey that leaves the audience walking on air, humming its tunes, and in love with the artistry of the great Chaplin.
One actor, one piano, one amazing performance. This is "Chaplin – A Life. In Concert", a unique evening of Musical Theater which dramatizes, in song, the life story of the brilliant and controversial artist, Charlie Chaplin.
The show stars multi platinum award-winning Performer/Composer, David Pomeranz (who also created the Music and Lyrics and collaborated on the Book with Steven David Horwich) who portrays more than 20 of the colorful characters in Charlie's life.
"Chaplin – A Life. In Concert" opens backstage at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1971 where Chaplin is to receive an honorary Life Achievement Award. Having been falsely accused of being a Communist and banned from re-entry into the United States 20 years earlier, the 82 year old Chaplin is both bitter and afraid as to how he'll be accepted by the crowd. He struggles with what to say to them when accepting the award ("Should I weep with delight or should I cry out with rage?") Left alone to rest, he falls asleep and, as he recounts the events that lead him to this fateful moment, it finally becomes clear what he must do.
Part Concert; part Stage Musical, "Chaplin – A Life. In Concert" is an imaginative, emotional and inspiring journey that leaves the audience walking on air, humming its tunes, and in love with the artistry of the Chaplin.
The performance runs approximately two hours, including intermission.
- THE REVIEWS AND ACCOLADES FOR DAVID POMERANZ -
"The score is a knockout… touching, clever, theatrical…wonderful!" Michael Feinstein
"David Pomeranz is wonderfully talented!" Mel Brooks
"I would give up all of my awards, and they are many, if I could do what David Pomeranz can do with his music." Richard Harris
"This young man has captured the soul of the man I knew so well." Jerry Epstein (Charlie's associate producer and "right hand" for more than 30 years)
"A Wide-ranging piece of work combining exuberance, charm and poignancy" London Guardian
"Straight from the heart…brilliant!" Southern Evening Echo
"Pomeranz has written some exhilarating songs, which could easily become instant classics." Stage and Television Today
"Pulsating…vibrant…progresses at a terrific pace with m oments of pathos just like a Chaplin movie." The Herald
"David is inspiring!" Barry Manilow
"It is difficult to open up one's creative heart and soul before an audience and to project the honesty and emotional sensitivity that Pomeranz possesses." Phillip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner
"Pomeranz is a talented, energetic performer with a knack for evoking audience response…truly an exciting artist…one of the finer voices of our time" Billboard Magazine
- THE SYNOPSIS -
At the 1971 Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, an 82 year-old Charlie Chaplin is about to receive a special Life Achievement award. 20 years earlier, Charlie had been barred from re-entry into the United States on the grounds that he was a Communist ("In America Again").
Charlie looks back at his life. His mother, a failed music hall performer, trying to make ends meet to support little Charlie and his older brother Sydney, reminds her sons that they have something more than mere material possessions ("Something No One Can Ever Take Away").
Not able to support her children, Hanna Chaplin is taken to the workhouse. The boys try selling their old clothing on the streets but there are no takers. Hungry and heartbroken, Sydney tries to cheer things up ("When the World Stops Turning") while the Charlie of 1971 rejoins them.
When Sydney joined the Navy, Charlie is left to fend for himself. Determined to help his mother, Charlie joined a dance troupe called "The Eight Lancashire Lads", but her mother's condition worsens and she is placed in an insane asylum. Dodging truant officers, Charlie sees a sign, "Blackmore's Theatrical Agency" and barges into the agent's office ("Number One").
Now grown up and a consummate English Stage comedian, Charlie is discovered by filmmaker Mack Sennett and signed to a contract at Keystone Studios in California. Sennett's style of "pie in the face" comedy is different from Chaplin's slower, more deliberate style, and when Charlie tries to assert his ideas, Sennett gives him some strong advice ("Less It Ends With a Chase").
Charlie is relentless. Sennett finally throws up his hands in frustration and gives Charlie a chance ("The Tramp"/"He's Got to be Someone").
Charlie becomes an overnight sensation. Charlie opens his own picture studio and he becomes one of the most beloved public figures. One evening, he is visited by a local chapter of Chaplin Fan Club ("Thank You").
By this time, Sydney returns as Charlie's personal manager. Getting ready for a swank Hollywood party, Sydney reminisces how far they've come ("Heaven").
Back to 1971, where Charlie's wife, Oona is instructed by the show's assistant director on how Charlie should play to the camera. Furthermore, a government official then warns her that Charlie should avoid making any political comments. Oona is incensed ("He's Got to be Someone (Reprise)").
The story returns to the 1920's. Charlie's career and personal life are at a low point. His mother just died, and he just underwent two bitter divorces. He is overworked, reporters are on to him and to make things worse, talking pictures are threatening his artistic survival ("Too Many Words").
Nonetheless his success continued, and Charlie revisits England to attend a Royal Premiere of "City Lights". He wanders through his old neighborhood and is stunned that injustice and poverty still exists. In an effort to improve such degenerate conditions, he decides to speak out on behalf of the Russian War Relief. He contends that it's no concern whether or not these people are Communist; the Nazis are slaughtering them. After one of his speeches, FBI agent Tippy Gray takes notes and reports his finding to Bureau Chief J. Edgar Hoover ("I Got Me a Red"/"There's Got to be a Law").
A paternity suit is filed against Chaplin, giving Hoover ammunition he needed. Although a blood test disproves the allegation, the press crucifies him. His fans turn on him and his films are boycotted. Charlie is dejected. He is convinced that it is just a matter of time before his new wife Oona leaves him too. However Oona assures him that she won't ("This is What I Dreamed").
The Chaplins decided to cruise Europe, but aboard the ship, Charlie receives a cable from Washington stating that in order to re-enter the U.S., he must answer to political and moral charges. Crestfallen, Charlie decided to spend the next 20 years living in Veney, Switzerland.
Back to 1971, Charlie is escorted to the stage while deeply regarding what he will tell his audience ("Finale").
David Pomeranz - Biography
Dubbed by Billboard Magazine as "...one of the finer voices" David's recording and songwriting projects have earned him 22 platinum and 18 gold albums - selling over 40 millions records internationally.
David has recorded eight solo albums including the classics, "IT'S IN EVERY ONE OF US" (Arista) and "THE TRUTH OF US" (Atlantic - co-produced with legendary Paul Simon producer, Roy Halee.) Both albums have recently been digitally re-mastered and re-released in 2007. His recent groundbreaking album, "BORN FOR YOU – HIS BEST AND MORE" (MCA/Universal) has become a phenomenon throughout Asia selling over 500,000 units in the Philippines alone, making it the largest selling album in the history of that country. David's other solo efforts include, "NEW BLUES" (Decca), "TIME TO FLY" (Decca) - featuring jazz greats Chick Corea, Billy Cobham and Eddie Gomez; "THE EYES OF CHRISTMAS" (MCA/Universal) and "ON THIS DAY" (MCA/Universal).
David's songs have been recorded and/or performed by scores of hit artists including Barry Manilow (who's renditions of David's "TRYIN' TO GET THE FEELING AGAIN" and "THE OLD SONGS" were both Number One hits), Ciff Richard (who recorded three of David's songs including the Top 10 hit, "I STILL BELIEVE IN YOU"), Bette Midler, Kenny Loggins, Clay Aiken, Freddie Mercury (of Queen), Richie Sambora (of Bon Jovi), Phoebe Snow, The Carpenters, Isaac Hayes, Dennis DeYoung (of Styx), Hubert Laws, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Harry Belafonte, The Muppets, Glen Campbell, The Hollies, Andy Williams, Donna Summer, Eddie Kendricks (of The Temptations), Lea Salonga and in 2002, Missy Elliott sampled David's music for her hit single, "ONE MINUTE MAN" (Elektra) which went to the top of the Billboard Charts.
Born in New York City and raised on Long Island, David showed signs of "things to come" by conducting to his parent's records on the playroom table and putting on shows for neighbors in the backyard. His first experiences singing in public were performing duets with his father in Synagogue. Before long, David learned to play the piano, taught himself to play guitar and drums and, by age 14, began writing his first songs. His teen years were spent playing in rock bands (including a stint as lead singer in a band that was to become Pure Prairie League) until at the tender age of 19, he got his first professional break when Decca records signed him to a multi-album solo contract.
Of his concert appearances, critic Phillip Elwood of The San Francisco Examiner said it best: "It is difficult to open up one's creative heart and soul before an audience and to project the honesty and emotional sensitivity that Pomeranz possesses..." A sampling of just some of the international venues in which David has performed include:
THE KENNEDY CENTER
THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
THE UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATER
New York City
THE ARANETA COLISEUM
(David awarded "Winner Outstanding Song", Yamaha World Song Festival)
MOSCOW SPORTS ARENA
SINGAPORE INDEPENDANCE DAY
THE COW PALACE
HARRAH'S HOTEL AND CASINO
THE GOODWILL GAMES
(Closing Ceremonies) Seattle, Washington
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL
New York City
Aside from his accomplishments in the Pop Music field, David has contributed music and lyrics for numerous major motion pictures including the 20th Century Fox production of, "BIG", starring Tom Hanks, Warner Bros.' "FIRE DOWN BELOW" starring Steven Seagal, Paramount's "MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD" with Martin Sheen and Dino Delaurentis' version of, "KING KONG" (for which he wrote lyrics to John Barry's haunting title theme. His latest composition, can be heard in the recent 2008 Motion Picture about the Holocaust victims and their artwork entitled, "AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES", produced by Sundance Films and performed by Sony/BMG artist, Anna Nalick ("Breathe").
Any Emmy Award nominee, David's song work for Television has been extensive. For six seasons, he was the voice heard singing the theme to the ABC series, "PERFECT STRANGERS" and he has contributed songs for scores of other Series' and Specials including "WILL AND GRACE" (NBC); "AMERICAN IDOL" (Fox); "ONE LIFE TO LIVE" (CBS); "THE MISS AMERICA PAGEANT" (CBS); Hallmark's Peabody award-winning children's series, "ZOOBILEE ZOO" (PBS); "DICK CLARK'S ROCKIN' NEW YEARS EVE" (ABC); "THE SEOUL SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES" (ABC) ; "DISNEY'S GREATEST HITS ON ICE" (CBS); "TED TURNER'S GOODWILL GAMES" (TBS), and Showtime's "ELVIS PRESLEY'S GRACELAND", for which he composed the score.
In the world of Musical Theatre, David is the Composer, Lyricist (and co-Book writer with Steven David Horwich) for a new stage musical based on the life of Charlie Chaplin. The show's UK 1992 premiere lead to a star-studded recording of the featured songs on Warner Records starring Richard Harris, Mel Brooks, Petula Clark, Tim Curry, Treat Williams, Peter Duncan, Lea Salonga and David, himself. David is presently touring a one-man "concert" version of the show entitled, "CHAPLIN – A LIFE. IN CONCERT" in theaters and Performing Arts Centers throughout the United States (the show premiered at the Kravis Center in 2008 and Smithtown Center For The Performing Arts in 2009).
His other Musical Theater projects include contributing songs for the West End hit, "TIME", which starred Cliff Richard and Sir Laurence Olivier (who recited the lyrics to David's anthem, "IT'S IN EVERY ONE OF US"), An inspiring musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, "A TALE OF TWO CITIES", (which opened in Windsor and Birmingham, England and recently in September of 2008, had its London premiere at the Gatehouse Theater, directed by Paul Nicholas. "A TALE OF TWO CITIES" is scheduled to open on the West End in 2011.
In collaboration with Lyricist/ Bookwriter, Kathie Lee Gifford, David has composed the scores for two Stage Musicals - "UNDER THE BRIDGE" (which premiered Off-Broadway at the Zipper Theater in January, 2005) and the partial score for "SAVING AIMEE" (based on the life of evangelist, Aimee Semple Macpherson) which opened at The Signature Theater in Arlington, Virginia in May of 2007 en route to Broadway.
Press Quotes/ Concert Reviews
"It is difficult to open up one's creative heart and soul before an audience and to project the honesty and emotional sensitivity that Pomeranz possesses..." - Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner
"Where has David Pomeranz been all our life? The artist warms up to the audience like a pair of motorman's gloves and his easy rapport enabled him to virtually embrace the listeners...." - Ernie Santousosso, Boston Globe
"A Skillful storyteller and consummate showman, Pomeranz delighted the packed house with quirky banter and flair with a charming combination of humor and humility. He creates an exciting world..." - Lisa Elaine Scott, Music Connection Magazine
"...Pomeranz is a talented, energetic performer with a knack for evoking audience response....left the audience craving more. (David is) truly an exciting artist whose work speaks volumes...." - Billboard Magazine