'Chaplin' star walks tightrope

The Little Tramp’s silent classics were projected on the walls Monday night as first-nighters swayed to a live quintet at Gotham Hall’s afterparty for Broadway musical “Chaplin.”

Director Warren Carlyle enthused about his gutsy star Rob McClure. “Never once in that entire two-year process did I hear that boy say no. When I said, ‘How about I put you on a tightrope? Have you flip upside down? Catch a hat on your foot? Learn to play the violin? To rollerskate? To have you spin on a table and run?’ I don’t know anybody else who would be able to deal with that kind of pressure.”

McClure, who was with wife Maggie Lakis, said Carlyle’s “confidence in me made me feel I had to do it. He’d say, ‘There’s two new pages and we’re setting you up with tightrope lessons.’ “

Composer co-writer Christopher Curtis, who spent seven years working with book writer Thomas Meehan, became intrigued when he met Chaplin’s eldest son, Broadway’s “Funny Girl” star Sydney.

“Sydney said to me, ‘If my dad hadn’t been abandoned from his mom, the Little Tramp would never have been created.’ He took the pain of his past and reframed it into this amazing comical gift.”

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