From the comic book page to the stage

Sally
Sally Cole
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Charlie Brown (David Light) prepares to hit the ball in the baseball game scene from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. The musical, based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schultz, plays The Guild main stage in Charlottetown, May 2-10. From left are Snoopy (Tyrell Witherspoon), Schroeder (Noah MacDougall), Sally Brown (Jessica Gallant), Linus (Andrew German) and Lucy (Brieonna Locche).

Actors bring You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown to The Guild in Charlottetown May 2-10

Although Charles M. Schultz created the Peanuts comic strip more than 60 years ago, his colourful characters live on today.

Whether it’s Charlie Brown and his chronic bad luck, Linus and his trusty blacket, Lucy and her undying love for Schroeder or the beloved dog, Snoopy, their personalities jump off the page and the screen every time we read the comic section or watch reruns of the animated series on TV.

But what makes the Peanuts comic strip timeless is the universal situations he puts his characters in, says theatre director Brieonna Locche.

“Charles Schultz didn’t hold anything back. He dealt with real problems that kids and adults deal with everyday. He dealt with rejection, sadness, bullying, as well as loneliness. He wasn’t afraid to tell stories about those struggles. And somehow he was able to bring comedy out through it,” says Locche, who is bringing the strip to the stage in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

The musical comedy, which hits The Guild Main Stage in Charlottetown May 2-10, features the characters Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally Brown and Snoopy as they venture into an average day in the life of Charlie, following his multiple mishaps and misfortunes.

“It’s written in clips, which gives the illusion you’re watching a comic strip coming to life. Most of the dialogue and the songs are taken directly from the cartoon strip. Schultz’s language is brilliant,” says Locche, adding the music, composed by Clark Gesner, will have audience members humming along.

“There’s a song from the baseball game where Charlie loses the game, once again. There’s another where Lucy sings to Schroeder about getting married, as he plays his mini piano.

“There’s also a song at the end of the show called Happiness where they all talk about their favourite things.”

One of her favourite things about the show is getting to play Lucy.

“She’s a complex character, ready to dish out her advice,” says the Charlottetown resident, adding the cast list includes Saskatchewan native David Light as Charlie Brown, P.E.I. natives Jessica Gallant as Sally Brown and Noah MacDougall, who plays Schroeder and serves as music director for the show. Other company members include Ontario’s Andrew German as Linus and B.C.’s Tyrell Witherspoon as Snoopy.

Locche hopes that audience members will come out to support the company’s efforts.

“The kids will love it. There are bright colours and lively dance numbers. It will also resonate with people who remember watching it when they were young.”

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at scole@theguardian.pe.ca or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.

At A Glance

If you are going

- What: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

- When: The Guild on May 2-3 and May 8-10, 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. performances on May 3-4 and May 10.

- Where: The Guild main stage, Charlottetown.

- Headfirst productions: Brieonna Locche, Tyrell Witherspoon and Noah MacDougall.

- Tickets: Available at the box office, 620-3333. 

Organizations: The Guild, The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Saskatchewan, Ontario

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