Archikulture Digest

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

By Clark Gesner and Andrew Lippa

Directed by Keith Newhouse

Musical Direction by Erik Branch

Choreography by Michael Schroeder

Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park FL</strong>

It’s tough to push the three panel gag structure from newsprint to the musical stage, but when you’re dealing with a franchise as strong as Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” it’s worth giving the problem the old college try. In this fluffy family friendly musical, there are nice songs, more than a few laughs, and even a decent special effect. Plot is minimal: Charlie Brown (Justin Scarlat) can’t do anything right, he pines for the red haired girl yet can never make it over to talk to her, and all the rest of the gang bounces off his stolid depression as they live though the pressing crises of First Grade. Mixing solid pros with age appropriate newcomers, Director Newhouse pulls of a fun evening of gag-oriented humor and music. The best voice and acting on stage belongs to CB’s young sister Sally (Madison Zavitz) who sings rings round Schroeder (Jamaal Solomon) in “My New Philosophy”. Another favorite was Snoopy (Jimmy Moore) with his WW1 Flying Ace routine and obsession with food (“Supper Time”). While CB is often despised, he’s still captain of the baseball team and the ensemble “The Baseball Game” showed all these kids could be organized. I think Charles Shultz had issues with dominant women, beside Sally’s bossiness Lucy (candy Heller) pushes everyone around, including audience members sucked into her “How crabby am I?” survey. In the young acting camp the cutest kids were Mackendrick and Jason Zavitz playing double Woodstock birds and a pair of bunnies. Tonight’s special effect was simple but effective; CB finally gets his kite in the sky, at least for a few bars of “The Kite” via fish line and eye bolts. Simple and direct, this is one of those rare kid orient musicals that have something for the adults to grasp onto, and time flies past. All the kids up there drip cuteness, especially since they aren’t sitting behind me kicking my seat. .

For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com</a</em>>


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