With “Visions of Love,” Pointless Theatre brings the best of the silent era to life, creating a stunning work of puppet-dance-theater based on the beloved film classic City Lights.
One of the most acclaimed romantic comedies in history, City Lights is perhaps Charlie Chaplin’s best known work and follows the exploits of his famed Tramp character. Released in 1930, the story follows Chaplin’s Tramp as he falls in love with the Blind Woman, a poor flower seller with a heart of gold. His madcap adventures include skirmishes with a mischievous newsboy, a boxing match with a prizefighter, and an unlikely friendship with a drunken millionaire. Director Matt Reckeweg maintains the spirit of the original film, perfectly translating the whimsical world of Chaplin to the stage using inventive choreography and physical humor.
Kerry McGee leaped into the role of The Tramp with fervor that was both entertaining and endearing. Her greasepaint moustache, hat, and cane, coupled with spot-on Chaplin-esque physicality, perfectly captures the iconic character. With rounded eyes and exaggerated reactions, McGee was the star of the show in every way possible. A foil to The Tramp’s happy-go-lucky opportunism, Sharalys Silva was demure and sweet as the Blind Woman, a paragon of purity and kindness. Her dance-like movements accentuated her femininity and brought unbridled joy at the show’s heartwarming climax.
…a stunning work of puppet-dance-theater based on the beloved film classic City Lights.
The story was populated by a talented ensemble, each portraying a host of human and puppet characters alike. Favorites included Lee Gerstenhaber’s snobbish Butler and Jon Reynolds’ Prizefighter, small roles that drew laughs with their specificity and relentless antagonism of The Tramp. A particular standout was Scott Whalen, a Pointless Company Member who impressed with hilarious facial expressions, whether portraying the well-meaning, yet unpredictable Millionaire and a boxing referee who, in one of the best comedic moments of the night, was unwittingly drawn into the ring.
Clever technical elements made the audience forget that they were watching a live production and not a beautifully rendered silent film. “Visions of Love” opened with an ingenious slapstick sequence that serves as the opening credits, introducing the actors and crew on synchronized posters. These same posters become closed captions, giving the audience a taste of what each character is thinking. A unified and charming aesthetic elevated the show, with creative props and set pieces that made the intimate Dance Loft feel spacious and elegant. A silent story for the most trying of modern times, Pointless’s “Visions of Love” is a reminder of the innocent love and kindness that lies within us all.
Running Time: About an hour and fifteen minutes, with no intermission.
“Visions of Love” runs through February 9 at Dance Loft of 14- 4618 14th St NW in Washington, D.C. To purchase tickets, call 202-733-6321 or buy online.