Friday, April 21, 2017

Join Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan
for 'The Kid' on Saturday, 4/22 in Ludlow, Vt

This weekend, I bop up to Ludlow, Vt., home of Okemo Mountain.

But the ski season is over, so I'll be creating live accompaniment for a silent film program.

It's kind of similar to being on the slopes, wouldn't you say?

Featured is 'The Kid' (1921) starring Charlie Chaplin and a very young Jackie Coogan. It'll be preceded by Chaplin's short 'A Dog's Life' (1918).

I've often wanted to pair Chaplin's 'The Kid' with Buster Keaton's short comedy 'The Goat,' but once again the opportunity will slip by!

If you're in the area, come check out Chaplin's breakthrough feature—"a story with a smile, and perhaps a tear"—the way it was meant to be seen: on the big screen, with live music, and with an audience.

Showtime is 7 p.m. See you there! For more info, check out the press release below:

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Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 •

Charlie Chaplin's 'The Kid' to screen on Saturday, April 22 at Ludlow Auditorium

Landmark silent film comedy/drama about Little Tramp raising an orphan to be presented with live music at historic venue

LUDLOW, Vt.—Silent film with live music returns to Ludlow Auditorium with a screening of Charlie Chaplin's classic comedy/drama 'The Kid' (1921) on Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m.

The special program will be presented with live music by silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis. The screening is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by FOLA (Friends of the Ludlow Auditorium), the program enables audiences to experience silent film in the way its makers originally intended: on the big screen, with live music, and with an audience.

Chaplin was already the world's most popular comedian and filmmaker when he produced 'The Kid,' his first feature-length project.

The movie, with its daring mix of intense drama and slapstick comedy, proved an instant sensation and marked one of the high points of Chaplin's long career.

'The Kid' follows the story of a tramp (Chaplin) who attempts to raise an orphaned boy on his own. It includes several classic scenes, and is highlighted by a sequence in which Chaplin battles authorities attempting to return the child to an orphanage.

Co-starring with Chaplin in 'The Kid' is five-year-old Jackie Coogan, who turned in what many critics rank as the best child performance of the entire silent film era. Chaplin himself worked closely with the young Coogan for more than a year to develop the youngster's acting abilities.

Coogan went on to a long career that much later included the role of "Uncle Fester" in the popular 1960s Addams Family television show.

The screening of 'The Kid' provides local audiences the opportunity to experience silent film as it was intended to be shown: on the big screen, in restored prints, with live music, and with an audience.

"If you can put pieces of the experience back together again, it's surprising how these films snap back to life," said Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film accompanist who creates music for silent film screenings at venues around the country. "By showing the films under the right conditions, you can really get a sense of why people first fell in love with the movies."

In creating music for silent films, Rapsis performs on a digital synthesizer that reproduces the texture of the full orchestra and creates a traditional "movie score" sound.

'The Kid' will be preceded by 'A Dog's Life' (1918), one of Chaplin's earlier short comedies that helped establish his worldwide popularity.

'The Kid' (1921) starring Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan, will be screened with live music on Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium, 137 Depot St. in Ludlow, Vt.

The screening is sponsored by the Friends of Ludlow Auditorium. Admission is free; donations are encouraged. For more information about the FOLA and its events, visit or call (802) 228-7239.


“Chaplin's first real feature mixes slapstick and sentiment in a winning combination, as the Tramp raises a streetwise orphan. Wonderful film launched Coogan as a major child star, and it's easy to see why.”
– Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide

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