‘Char­lie Brown’ to open June 9 in Church Hill

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment -

CHURCH HILL — “You’re A Good Man, Char­lie Brown,” based on Charles Schulz’s beloved “Peanuts” comic strip with mu­sic, lyrics and book by Clark Ges­ner, opens at Church Hill The­atre on Fri­day, June 9.

This fam­ily-friendly mu­si­cal di­rected by Sylvia Maloney will run for three week­ends, at 8 p.m. on Fri­days and Satur­days and at 2 p.m. Sun­days.

The pro­duc­tion opens on Fri­day, June 9, and runs through June 25. Dis­counts are avail­able for CHT Mem­bers and groups of 10 or more. Reser­va­tions are strongly ad­vised and can be made by call­ing 410-556-6003 or on­line at church­hillthe­atre.org.

The CHT cast of adult ac­tors quickly es­corts the au­di­ence into the mag­i­cal world cre­ated by Charles Schulz. As the show’s cre­ator Clark Ges­ner said, “None of the cast is ac­tu­ally six years old. And they don’t re­ally look like Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” car­toon char­ac­ters. But this doesn’t seem to make that much dif­fer­ence once we are into the play, be­cause what they are say­ing to each other is with the open­ness of that early child­hood time, and the ob­vi­ous fact is that they are all re­ally quite fond of each other.”

The mu­si­cal has charmed au­di­ences since its pre­mier in 1967, per­haps most mem­o­rably in the 1999 Broad­way re­vival where Kristin Chenoweth and Roger Bart won Tony Awards for play­ing Sally and Snoopy.

Over the course of the show, Char­lie’s young friends help him dis­cover what it re­ally means to be a “good man.” Along the way, Snoopy bat­tles with the Red Baron, Lucy runs her psy­chi­a­trist booth and teaches al­ter­na­tive facts, Li­nus has a love-hate re­la­tion­ship with his blan­ket, Sally finds school ex­cep­tion­ally frus­trat­ing and Schroeder seeks so­lace in his mu­sic.

Char­lie Brown just keeps stum­bling along, with fail­ures rang­ing from the kite-eat­ing tree to the Lit­tle League Base­ball Cham­pi­onship. By the end, the au­di­ence might agree that be­ing a good per­son may mean try­ing your best and mak­ing the most of things.

CHT’s pro­duc­tion of “You’re A Good Man, Char­lie Brown” is di­rected by Sylvia S. Maloney, with mu­sic di­rec­tion by Ellen Barry Grun­den and chore­og­ra­phy by Cavin Moore.

Maloney has cast Matt Folker as Char­lie Brown, Becca Van Aken as Lucy, El­liott Morotti as Li­nus, Maya McGrory as Sally, David Ryan as Schroeder and Julie Lawrence as Snoopy.

Other “Peanuts” char­ac­ters are played by Sa­man­tha Smith, Faith McCarthy, Amy Gilliland, Mor­gan Arm­strong, Jar­rett Plante and Katie Sardo.

Devin Kirchner is the pro­duc­tion stage man­ager with Jim John­son as as­sis­tant stage man­ager. Michael White­hill is in charge of set de­sign/con­struc­tion, Brian Draper is the set artist and Doug Kauf­mann, with as­sis­tants Molly Heal and Laura Crab­tree, is the light­ing de­signer. Tina John­son and Erma John­son are in charge of cos­tumes for the mu­si­cal.

Lucy, played by Becca Van Ake, ad­mires Schroeder, played by David Ryan, as he tries to con­cen­trate on his mu­sic in Church Hill The­atre’s pro­duc­tion of “You’re a Good Man, Char­lie Brown.”

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