Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A Night at the Show is the most elaborate two-reeler directed by Charlie Chaplin during his 1915-1916 stay at Essanay studios. Based on "A Night in an English Music Hall," the Fred Karno-produced ensemble sketch which brought Chaplin to the U.S. in 1910, the film is set in a crowded theater, where a series of mediocre variety acts try to entertain the audience. Chaplin plays two roles: a slick-haired dandy in the orchestra seats, who flirts with the female performers at every possible opportunity, and "Mr. Rowdy," a walrus-mustached drunkard who heckles the actors from the balcony. The film comes to an abrupt end when Mr. Rowdy gets hold of a fire hose and douses everyone in sight. A Night at the Show is usually released on video in tandem with several other Essanay Chaplin films, notably The Bank and Shanghaied.
audience, performer, theater