For one of the first times ever I’m not in the school play, and I feel really, really weird about it.
But oh Beethoven was Charlie Brown fun to watch!
One of the small pitfalls about being a Theatre Major is that you never actually get to see the shows your school puts on, because you’re always too busy actually performing in them. I’ve never been very talented musically, so I knew I wasn’t going to audition for this semester’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” but I’ve been so excited to see it ever since it was casted and now that it’s here I want to drag everyone else to see it too.
There’s been a lot of build up to this show! Musicals always tend to do fairly well, they pull a large audience and they’re fun and engaging to watch so people get really into them. The Cafe even got in on the action and put out a few Peanuts themed desserts that were equal parts delicious and adorable (my favorite was the cheesecake bites covered in chocolate and decorated to look like little footballs). Allyson Sander put together a HUGE charity event called “The Linus Project,” which organized the making of decorative fleece blankets for children in need, and lots of people got involved all in the good name of Charlie Brown. You’ve got to appreciate a community that goes all out to support the arts, and it was exhilarating to see our Theatre Department represented in so many other cool aspects of campus.
On Friday last week I got a big group of friends together to go see the show. We met at the Caf and snacked on delicious muddy-buddies wrapped in adorable Peanut Comic paper, and got pumped up to listen to some musical theatre wonderfulness. Tyler Maryon had worked on building the set with the rest of the Theatre Ensemble cast, so he was ready to finally see it being utilized. I hardly had anything to do with this show, so I was essentially walking in blind and all the more eager for it.
The set was adorable, very comic-like, with bright colors that placed the audience immediately in the Peanuts world. The last few shows we’ve done here at COI weren’t really, ehem, child appropriate, so it was kind of a surprise to see a bunch of younger kids all lined up around the stage on bright little place marker fabric squares, the likes of which you’ve probably napped on in preschools before. It was a cute touch.
The show was lovely, you can tell this cast has worked incredibly hard and all seem to really enjoy performing in the universe they’ve created. “Charlie Brown” is also double casted for some of the characters, which means that audiences have the benefit of being able to go on two different nights and experience the show in two fresh and exciting ways. I’m definitely hoping I can catch it again with the different cast and see how that changes the performance as a whole. When I saw it, Edie Dull was hilariously mean as Lucy, and played the part of bratty older sister to a T. Austin Murray played Linus as a great intellectual, and the little girl sitting on the floor a little to the right of me giggled every time he opened his mouth. Clayton Gefre totally blew me away as Charlie Brown, I hadn’t ever seen him perform before and it was super refreshing seeing him throw himself so thoroughly into his character. Zac Buker was hilarious as Snoopy, Ellen Campell played a very compelling Sally, and Luke Ahlemann rocked the piano and part of Schroeder respectively. No audience member could help rooting for Charlie Brown and the rest of his gang, and I think everyone who comes to see the show is going to walk away glad for the experience.
For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, DO IT! This is the last week to watch and time is running out faster than Snoopy can eat his dinner. Putting on a show isn’t easy at all to do, so much love and dedication and sweat and late homework assignment go into building a production like this, and it would be a bummer not to see such a fun show. The show is free for students too, and when was the last time a college kid turned down a free way to procrastinate homework? The answer you’re looking for is never.
Good luck to the cast and crew of “ You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”. You’re all doing a great job, only one more week until you can have your social lives back!