Going waaaaaay off on a tangent, I believe that my first acting gig was in the first grade as a balloon salesman who had one line: “Balloons for sale! BALLOONS FOR SALE!!! Red and YELLOW AAND GREEN BALLOONS!!!” And the finale was a ditty entitled “H-A-double P-I-N-E-double S.” But that is not what this post is about.
Friday evening I had the opportunity to take my four-year-old niece to see a production of You’re a Food (Er… GOOD… sorry) Man Charlie Brown. Happily, she was a very good audience member.
The musical is a fun vignette of scenes featuring the main characters of Charles Schultz immortal comic strip “Peanuts.” We have the siblings Lucy and Linus; the Beethoven fanatic Schroeder; little Sally; and of course the well meaning, though perpetually insecure title character. However, the star of the show is the scene-stealing beagle, Snoopy. Whenever the canine is on stage, the action seemed much more alive, energetic, and fun. Whether he was aboard his trusty Sopwith Camel as the World War I flying ace in search of the dasterdly Red Baron, simply chasing rabbits, or singing the praises of his favorite time of day: “Suppertime,” the actor totally exemplified the exuberance of Joe Cool.
Another fun scene is “Book Report” in which Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, and Linus all attempt to compose a report on Beatrix Potter’s classic story “Peter Rabbit.” Each character at times in solo and at other times in a quartet, gives voice to the words they are formulating on paper.
The set of the show was also very well imagined. The trees, doghouse, fence, big comfy couch, etc. were all constructed in such a way that the comic strip was brought to brilliant life. While in the dogfight (HAHAHA) with the Red Baron, Snoopy’s giant doghouse actually moved up and down just enough to give the illusion of flight. The only thing missing, according to the critical eye of a four-year-old, was the sun and clouds.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a fun show for all ages. Although I was not sure how a young girl would act during the performance, I was actually glad that I was able to take her.