One of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever spent in a theater was on Valentine’s Day in 2010 when I saw Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights accompanied by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra playing the movie score live. The two things that came across the most that night were that Charlie Chaplin was a creative genius and Columbus, Georgia has a really fine symphony orchestra. It was magical.
That magic was captured again when the orchestra played the score as we watched Chaplin’s 1928 hit The Circus. Chaplin’s humor is timeless. The 2013 Columbus, Georgia audience roared at Chaplin’s 1928 slapstick comedy. The two things that stood out in the 2010 event did the same thing this time. Chaplin, who not only produced, starred, and directed The Circus, wrote the score when the movie was revived in 1967. That was the score that the Columbus Symphony played Thursday night. Again, Chaplin’s genius was obvious and the orchestra’s performance superb. Conductor George Del Gobbo told the audience that he had watched the movie 20 times getting ready to conduct the score. It worked.