City Lights

When: Fri., April 25, 7 p.m. and Sat., April 26, 7 p.m. 2014

It’s a perfect marriage of movies and music. In honor of the 100-year anniversary of the first appearance of Charlie Chaplin’s universally loved Little Tramp, the Charlotte Symphony will be providing live musical accompaniment to a screening of the 1931 masterpiece City Lights, one of the best films to feature the iconic character. Chaplin himself wrote the film’s score, and it’s this original version that will be performed by the Symphony. The screening will be preceded by a lecture as well as Chaplin-inspired physical improvisations by UNC Charlotte Department of Theatre students. As for the movie, it finds the Little Tramp falling in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) and socializing with a millionaire (Harry Myers) who’s only friendly when he’s drop-dead drunk. No filmmaker has ever been as successful as Chaplin in tugging at our heartstrings while simultaneously leaving us helpless in laughter, and City Lights finds him operating at the peak of his abilities, even throwing his usual social critique into the mix. The picture showcases one superb vignette after another, and it all leads toward a final few minutes of incredible power — truly one of cinema’s great fadeouts. (Matt Brunson)

Price: $26.50-$59.50

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