Tom Roberts Charlie Chaplin Silent Picture ShowThursday, June 29, 2017 @ 8 p.m.
Stride piano player Tom Roberts brings his celebrated Charlie Chaplin Silent Picture Show to Alphabet City!
An internationally regarded proponent of early jazz piano, Jazz Beat Magazine described Roberts as “without question one of the finest pianists today.” Roberts has arranged and performed music for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Martin Scorcese’s Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator ,as well as multiple appearances at the prestigious Jazz in July with Dick Hyman at New York’s 92nd St. Y.
Tom has performed multiple times at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival including a solo performance at The Professor Longhair Society’s Piano Night At Tipitina’s . He has performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Kiellor, and was pianist and musical director for Leon Redbone.
Chaplin is indisputably one of the towering figures in film history. An actor, comedian, director, and composer (beginning with “City Lights” he composed the scores for all his films). In 1916 he became the highest paid film star ever, receiving a staggering $10,000.00 per week to create 12 films for the Mutual Corporation. In 2012, The Pittsburgh Symphony commissioned Tom to compose original scores to two of Chaplin’s Mutual Films: The Rink and One A.M. and he chose to do so in a manner that Chaplin would have approved. The result was miraculous and people have described the experience as magical, as if being in a dream! Since that time he has toured the event throughout the region, placing it in unusual venues hoping to share this with as many people as possible.
Music becomes a major part of our experience when watching a silent film: The wrong music can totally destroy our experience of the film. Chaplin himself was well aware of that, and as soon as he could, he composed scores for the films that he owned. He knew that a profound sense of irony was the key ingredient, juxtaposing the most elegant music against the most outrageous slapstick. Since his work with the Symphony, Roberts has composed new scores for two more of Chaplin’s films: The Pawn Shop (1916); and the film in which Chaplin introduced his iconic little tramp; Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914). The amazing thing about these films is that still speak to us today.
In The Rink, Chaplin plays a clumsy waiter who frequents a roller skating rink during his lunch break. He meets a beautiful socialite and masquerades as Sir Cecil Seltzer to win her affections. The Pawn Shop explores the illusion of time and identity. But first and foremost, all of these films are hysterically funny!
“Tom Roberts Charlie Chaplin Silent Picture Show,” will last about two hours.
Visit tomrobertspiano.com for more info
Featuring clarinetist Mary Beth Malek: