Play­crafters presents, ‘You’re a Good Man, Char­lie Brown’

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - ARTS - From Mary Can­tell Play­crafters

Who doesn’t know good ol’ Char­lie Brown? The lov­able lead char­ac­ter of car­toon­ist Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts has made the leap from comic strip char­ac­ter to an iconic house­hold name over the years, and this sea­son he’s mak­ing a stop on the Play­crafters’ stage along with his five friends for a two-hour mu­si­cal com­edy re­view of his life straight from the funny pa­pers.

The stage pro­duc­tion is com­prised en­tirely of vi­gnettes. “Some are very short and the long­est is no more than five min­utes,” said Di­rec­tor Ran­dall King, re­tired mu­sic/ fine arts ed­u­ca­tor and pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian, who is no stranger to com­mu­nity the­atre. “They con­tinue through­out the show; there’s no par­tic­u­lar story line, just a lot of Peanut’s comic strips.”

The orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion in 1967 was born through the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort of the ac­tors, who took to the stage ini­tially with­out a script and es­sen­tially winged it with just the songs and their cre­ativ­ity. They por­trayed the char­ac­ters through their own con­cept of how it should be done.

“We’re do­ing the off Broad­way ver­sion,” said King, who de­scribed the suc­cess of the orig­i­nal 1967 run. “The mu­sic is sim­ple, charm­ing and child-like. We wanted to keep the in­ti­macy and charm of the orig­i­nal show. There’s a sec­ond, re­vised (Broad­way) ver­sion that came out later that lost its charm. Most com­mu­nity groups choose to do the re­vised ver­sion, but I like the sim­plic­ity and charm.”

This pro­duc­tion of “You’re A Good Man, Char­lie Brown” lasted 1,597 per­for­mances, clos­ing on Fe­bru­ary 14, 1971 and, later, had sev­eral re­vival tours.

Char­lie Brown is played by Ja­son Schaum; Lucy, Cait­lyn Col­gan; Snoopy, Ni­cholas Gah­man; Li­nus, Nikki Bromberg; Patty, Mara Felice; and Schroeder, Sean Collins.

“The chal­lenge is that we have adults play­ing chil­dren…in ad­di­tion, we have char­ac­ters that every­one knows. The chal­lenge is to (por­tray) the orig­i­nal char­ac­ter traits that Charles Schulz put on pa­per after all these decades,” King added.

Do you re­mem­ber Snoopy and the Red Baron? Lucy’s psy­chi­atric booth? Schroder’s pi­ano? The Peanuts comic strip comes to life in this tuneful and memorable look at these time­less char­ac­ters who all, deep down, have a true fond­ness for each other. Join us as Char­lie Brown and his crew en­ter­tain the en­tire fam­ily!

Di­rec­tor, Ran­dall King; As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor and Pro­ducer, Michele Loor Nico­lay; Stage Man­ager, Joe Welsh; Sound, Chris Ste­wart; Light­ing De­sign, Ryan Kad­will; Light Board Op­er­a­tor, Mark Glicks­man; Chore­og­ra­pher, Jen­nifer Wilkin­son; Cos­tumes, Di­ane Van Hekken; BOD Ad­vi­sor, Sherry Yerger. Mu­si­cians: Flutist, Karri Gi­ampor­caro; Bassist, David Der­atzian; Per­cus­sion­ist, Robin Danels; Pi­ano/key­board, Jeff Wil­son.

Play­crafters presents, “You’re a Good Man, Char­lie Brown,” at the Barn, 2011 Store Road at Skip­pack Pike, Skip­pack. Re­main­ing per­for­mances are Nov. 10, 15, 16, 17 at 8 p.m., and Nov 11 at 2 p.m. Tick­ets are $17 at­ or call 610584-4005.




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