James’ Brand New Blog

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown @ 2012 Stratford Shakespeare Festival

- May 31st, 2012

Charlie Brown_On The Run

From left: Andrew Broderick as Schroeder, Amy Wallis as Sally, Ken James Stewart as Charlie Brown, Stephen Patterson as Snoopy, Erica Peck as Lucy and Kevin Yee as Linus in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann. Copyright (c) Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is an active, loud (in a good way) & bright family-friendly entertainment. Take your kids (of any ages) & enjoy what director/choreographer Donna Feore & the cast & crew have done with the Charles Schulz legacy.

Many Schulz lines help the dialogue thrive amid the songs, dance, hip hop, kill the wabbit, snoopberry & general fun of the Clark Gesner 1967 musical & its updates. On opening night (Wednesday at the Avon Theatre), it struck JBNBlog how much pain & loneliness & defeat there is in Schulz’s words & world. But there is laughter, too, & it is surprising to see how much much of our pop culture of the last 50 years is based on Peanuts. Many TV sitcoms channel Lucy vs. Charlie, but with less wit & noble suffering. All the goofy dreamers are Snoopy. Woody Allen is a Linus crossed with Charlie Brown & Schroeder, with Bergman standing in for Beethoven.  Happiness Is . . . a diluted message today, but beautifully delivered in the finale here.

The projections of animated material in the production didn’t impress me. But then the Avon is where I saw various multi-media illuminations of my father’s stage wizardry from Colours in the Dark to King Whistle! to Alice Through the Looking-Glass. So my reservations are merely a Lucycrabby outburst & shouldn’t keep others from marvelling at them.

The inevitable London connection:

Oakridge and Western music grad & You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown drummer & percussionist Dale Anne Brendon gets to rawk almost as much as she did last summer with JC Superstar (at least to JBNBlog’s admiring ears) . . . Born in London, she has been playing terrific drums and percussion with just about everyone: The London Youth Symphony and Orchestra London, London rock band Popjoy (a forerunner to The Joys) and London country star Shelly Rastin at Sarnia’s Bayfest as well as the Jeans ‘n Classics band and gigs with ex-Supertramp star Roger Hodgson. (Details from a 2011 story about her).

The inevitable trivia question:

The Baseball Game song & production number has Charlie Brown’s team losing the championship game 2-1. Our hero apparently strikes out (or fails in some quiet, despairing way) to end the game. If memory serves, Charlie’s team almost never came that close & as a pitcher he was always getting hit by vicious line drives. Anyway. Some details of the game on stage (the one-run margin, the championship being on the line with two outs, the bitter defeat) recall a World Series Game 7 lamented at least twice by Schulz in a Peanuts daily comic. (10q, Wikipedia). For the usual prizes, which game & who was at bat? For extra honours, who was on second base representing the potential winning run? For even more of our fantasy awards, what did Charlie Brown have to say about the outcome?

 

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Off Stage Singer……………………………………………………………Troy Adams
Schroeder …………………………………………………………………….Andrew Broderick
Off Stage Singer……………………………………………………………Heather McGuigan
Snoopy ………………………………………………………………………..Stephen Patterson
Lucy ……………………………………………………………………………Erica Peck
Off Stage Singer……………………………………………………………Travis Seetoo
Charlie Brown………………………………………………………………Ken James Stewart
Sally ……………………………………………………………………………Amy Wallis
Linus …………………………………………………………………………..Kevin Yee
Artistic credits
Director and Choreographer …………………………………………..Donna Feore
Musical Director …………………………………………………………..Laura Burton
Set Designer…………………………………………………………………Michael Gianfrancesco
Costume Designer…………………………………………………………Dana Osborne
Lighting Designer …………………………………………………………Kimberly PurtellVideo Designer …………………………………………………………….Sean Nieuwenhuis
Sound Designer…………………………………………………………….Peter McBoyle
Stunt Coordinator………………………………………………………….Daniel Levinson
Associate Conductor…………………………………………………….Mariyln Dallman
Assistant Director………………………………………………………….Kevin Hammond
Assistant Choreographer………………………………………………..Ryan Wilson
Assistant Set Designer …………………………………………………..Brandon Kleiman
Assistant Costume Designer …………………………………………..Joanna Yu
Assistant Lighting Designer……………………………………………C.J. Astronomo
Assistant Lighting Designer……………………………………………Jareth Li
Video Game Designer……………………………………………………Dylan Woodley
Sound Design Assistant …………………………………………………William Fallon
Dance and Stunt Captain………………………………………………..Heather McGuigan
Stage Manager ……………………………………………………………..Meghan Callan
Assistant Stage Manager………………………………………………..Michael Hart
Assistant Stage Manager………………………………………………..Melanie Klodt Wong
Assistant Stage Manager………………………………………………..Holly Korhonen
Production Assistant ……………………………………………………..Kenilee Kehler
Production Stage Manager……………………………………………..Julie Miles
Production Stage Manager ……………………………………………Maxwell T. Wilson
Technical Director ………………………………………………………..Elissa Horscroft

Categories: Entertainment

Subscribe to the post

Leave a comment

 characters available