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30Dec

Center High School's You're A Good Man Charlie Brown Selected Reviews

Hannah Helms
Summit Christian Academy

Submitted for publication to KC Star Online

SHAKE THINGS UP A LITTLE BIT WITH SNOOPY AND HIS PALS

When you were a child, did you ever open the newspaper straight to the comic section? Relive the joy you felt in YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at Center High School.

YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN is a 1967 musical adaptation of Charles M. Schulz's famous comic strip, Peanuts. In true comic strip form, the musical uses various vignettes to depict the relationships of the Peanuts characters.

The lovable family dog, Snoopy, is brought to life by King Long. Long's easygoing presence and superb physicality make the audience howl with laughter. Long also demonstrates his impressive voice in his humorous solo, "Snoopy." The precocious Lucy van Pelt, as played by Holly Gerry, is a girl on a mission. Whether her goal is to become queen, find out what people really think about her, or give advice from her psychiatrist stand, Gerry portrays Lucy's determination with ease. Gerry is always in character and her energy in both singing and acting never disappoint. Her song, "Little Known Facts," where she tells Linus that snow comes up out of the ground, among other things, is energetic and entertaining.

Schroeder, as played by Ezekiel Myers, is a serious pianist who adores Beethoven. Myers' smooth voice shines in "Beethoven Day," a song celebrating Schroeder's musical icon. Myers brings a fantastic sense of humor to every scene he's in, whether he's front and center or in the background. Linus, as played by Brenna Bridge, is Lucy's little brother. Bridge truly gets into the little brother persona and their sibling interactions are believable. Bridge also does an excellent job at seeming young and innocent, which shines through in "My Blanket and Me."

The authentic costumes, as done by Holly Gerry and Bonnie Risch, make the characters look like they stepped right out of the comic strip. The set, with its 2D atmosphere, enhances the experience. Snoopy's iconic doghouse looks just like you remember, and Lucy's psychiatrist stand is impressive and fits perfectly with the cartoon vibe of the show. The props, as done by Sarah Asher, also contribute to this well-rounded theme. They vary in size, from a tiny piano to giant pencils, and truly make the world of Peanuts seem real.

While several performers have consistent energy, at times the overall cast energy is low. The choreography is fun and fits the show, but occasionally, the movements are not fully synchronized. The sound of the show is generally quiet, but the actors make up for it with their enthusiasm.

This unique musical brings your favorite comic characters to life. Learn a new philosophy and shake things up a little with Snoopy and his pals at Center High School's YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN.

 



Jillian Steller
Summit Christian Academy

Submitted for publication to The Pitch

HAPPINESS STARTS WITH: YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN

"Call the principal and hand him the news, we've got a holiday he can't refuse." Center High School's theatre department presents YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN.

In the 1950's, Charles Schulz's comic, the Peanuts, debuted in seven different U.S. newspapers. Later, in 1967, Clark Gesner developed the popular comic into a Broadway musical that was fueled by numerous years worth of iconic comics and ten songs.

Charlie Brown, played by Jean McKinney-Chance, is a melancholy fellow. The actor does a decent job of capturing the spirit of the young boy Charlie Brown himself. Snoopy is another memorable part of the evening. Played by King Long, Snoopy brings an abundance of hilarity and charm to this show. His playful spirit captivates the audience and brings laughter throughout the entirety of the show. When performing in the same scenes, the two characters balance each other out nicely and help to create a playful atmosphere.

Ezekiel Myers, acting as Schroeder, plays his part brilliantly. The actor provides expression, comedic relief, and an extreme amount of energy. His high energy is only equal to that of Lucy, played by Holly Gerry. Gerry acts the part of Lucy reliably and never loses her wonderfully developed character. Lucy's love for Schroeder is portrayed exactly like the original comic which, in turn, enriches the show.

The stage crew, lead by Sarah Asher, is quick with all of the set changes. Asher and the crew help to create a smooth show. The costume team does their job well. All of the characters look like they are pulled right out of the original comic strip itself. The set is an eye-catcher. Painted in a two dimensional fashion, it transports the audience back to the classic drawings. The props team creates a number of amazing props that truly bring the show to life.

The show is fun and light, but there are some issues that occur throughout the duration of the show. The microphones are not always turned on. This makes it difficult to hear the actor's playful singing and banter during the loud music playing behind them. The actors are also in the shadows quite often which creates a problematic atmosphere when needing to see what is happening in the fundamental parts of the show. Despite a few fumbled lines, forgotten lyrics, and difficult to understand accents, the cast creates a childish atmosphere full of energy and hope that fits the show.

The show is relatable, hilarious, and exhibits the talents of the cast and crew. The actors share a bond that is apparent on stage and throughout the acting in and of itself. Just as the Red Baron cannot hide forever from dear Snoopy, the show YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN cannot hide forever from the public.
 



Emily Meehan
Excelsior Springs High School

Submitted for publication to Raytown Online

HAPPINESS

From red doghouses to baseball mounds to kite-eating trees, it's easy to recognize that the audience is in for a treat. For anyone with fond memories of the comic strip "Peanuts", Center High School is the place to be. This is also the perfect time for anyone who is unfamiliar with YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN to fall in love with the show.

In the 1960s, Clark Gesner composed several songs based on the characters from Charles Schulz's comic "Peanuts". These songs would later evolve into the musical YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN. The original production in 1967 had no actual script, but one was created for the 1999 Broadway revival of the show. The book for the show is credited to "John Gordon", but this name is actually a pseudonym for the original cast and staff of the show, who all worked together to create the script.

This show features the stories of many colorful characters, such as Lucy, who is played by Holly Gerry. Gerry displays her talents in portraying Lucy with a grating voice when talking and singing but clearly knows when to blend her voice with the rest of the cast during group numbers, showing her intelligence as an actress. She is matched well with Ezekiel Myers, who plays Schroeder, the subject of Lucy's infatuation. Myers perfectly encapsulates Schroeder's dramatic energy and passion for music in numbers like "Beethoven Day".

Charlie Brown's lovable dog Snoopy is portrayed by King Long. Long gives an engaging performance with his energetic movement and expressive delivery. Equally expressive is Faith Newell, who wonderfully portrays Charlie's bratty little sister Sally. Newell pairs very well with actors like Long and Myers, and it's easy to tell that they're all having fun working together, which makes it fun for the audience as well.

The art style of the original comic is skillfully invoked by the cartoon inspired set pieces designed by Ashly Mota-Perez. Snoopy's house is a particularly good example of Mota-Perez's work. It can be climbed from the back, allowing Snoopy to lay on top of it, and the roof can even be lifted up to imitate the wings of a plane when Snoopy plays at being a flying ace. Much like the sets, the costumes are colorful and engaging. Created by Holly Gerry and Bonnie Risch, the costumes give each character their own distinct color, creating a pretty picture when they all stand together.

The cast of this show is incredibly energetic, even if that energy isn't always matched by every character.

Prepare for nostalgia, because the talented students at Center High School put on a fantastic production of YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN that will bring a warm feeling to any "Peanuts" fan's heart.

About the Author

Rackers, Brad

Chair - FY20 Season

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