Wurlitzer And ‘The Kid’ At PPAC

(5.30) The PPAC winds up its spring theater organ recital series with a special treat, a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie “The Kid” with an accompaniment by Peter Krasinski on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

The AV Club wrote in 2016 on the occasion of a new “The Kid” DVD,

No director has ever had a better instinct at reaching and holding an emotional note, which is why his features, many of them otherworldly, haven’t aged at all. In The Kid, he invests his flair for perfect comic timing with sweetness—especially in regard to the relationship between the Tramp and the boy, much imitated by later films—and the sadness with a fleeting happy moment, which he would go on to do better than anyone else in the history of the medium.

The wrenching performance by a young Jackie Coogan was the gold standard in child actor scenery chewing for decades. (Shirley Temple earned the distaff division title for her “Captain January” waterworks). Coogan’s most famous speaking role was as Uncle Fester on the 70s television series, “The Addams Family.”

Running time for “The Kid” is 53 minutes.

Last week’s performance by Gary Phillips (photo below) was masterful, made all the more impressive by the fact that his thumb had been stitched up and bandaged due to a recent table saw accident. His eclectic playlist included “Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley,” “Stranger in Paradise,” Tom Lehrer’s “The Masochism Tango,” and “Always.” Phillips interspersed the program with demonstrations, pulling out all the stops if you will. We heard the brass trumpet, a glockenspiel, an orchestral oboe, the tuba mirabilis, vox humana, and my favorite, the “bee in the bottle.”

“The Kid,” free and open to the public, noon, Wednesday, May 30, PPAC, 220 Weybosset Street, (directions)





The organ is on a lift that rises from below stage level as the first song begins and lowers back down at the end of the show.

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