Silent Movies, Live Music Will Enliven Maryland Hall on November 1
by Dylan Roche
Creepy crawlers, ghosts, black-and-white filmography and rarely heard Halloween-themed music circa 1920 will make irresistibly unusual (and delightfully eerie) entertainment on All Hallows Day when the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra presents “Spooky Silents: A Silent Film Halloween” at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.
The one-night engagement on Saturday, November 1, will begin at 7:30pm in the main theater and will feature three classic shorts from the silent era – Buster Keaton’s “The Haunted House,” Harold Lloyd’s “Haunted Spooks” and Charlie Chaplin’s “One A.M.” – accompanied by live musical underscore from a 12-part orchestra under the leadership of Arnold’s own Andrew Greene.
“The performance will be a combined silent film event and concert experience,” explained Greene, who added that similar performances by the Peacherine Orchestra have been received enthusiastically by audiences. “It’s the sheer novelty of the entire event. Most audiences who come to see these shows have never seen a movie with live accompaniment. What I’ve found through our past performances is that audiences just love it.”
A 2009 graduate of Broadneck High School, Greene formed the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra at the University of Maryland in 2010. Since then, the group has garnered much renown playing ragtime, theater and dance music using Greene’s collection of more than 2,000 original orchestral arrangements from the era. The critically acclaimed group is quickly becoming one of the leading ragtime ensembles in the country, and it prides itself in authentic performance of silent film accompaniment.
When the team at Maryland Hall began to plan its fall season following a major summer renovation of the main theater, Peacherine was selected as the perfect show to highlight the new orchestra recession, improved seating and acoustics, according to Emily Garvin, Maryland Hall’s director of programs. “We are thrilled to provide exposure to such local treasure,” she explained. “We hope that this performance will draw Ragtime fans, film buffs and community members interested in the upgrades to the 1930s-era theater at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.”
The lineup of short films will also attract Halloween revelers, who will enjoy the campy fun of a comic horror story as performed by some of the silent era’s best. In “The Haunted House,” Buster Keaton plays a bank clerk who ends up in a seemingly haunted house that is actually a thieves’ hideout. This will be followed by “Haunted Spooks,” starring Harold Lloyd as a man whose bride has inherited a mansion that her uncle “haunts” with a variety of spectral tricks in the hopes that he can scare them off and claim the property. Finally, Charlie Chaplin will delight audiences in “One A.M.” as a drunken man who has a difficult time getting into his house when he arrives home late at night.
Tickets for “Spooky Silents: A Silent Film Halloween” are available now at $16 (Maryland Hall members) and $21 (nonmembers) for section A and $13 (members) and $18 (nonmembers) for section B. For more information or to reserve seats, visit www.marylandhall.org.
CD Release Concert! Join Peacherine as we release our third CD, Elite Syncopations! Also featuring the debut of our score for Charlie Chaplin’s The Pawnshop. FREE! Presented by Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. For more info, visit: www.marylandhall.org
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