Charlie Brown is the ultimate underdog. Nothing ever goes his way, no matter how hard he tries. He loses at everything: baseball, kite flying, grabbing the attention of the little red-haired girl. But just like a classic underdog, Charlie Brown never gives up. His relentless optimism in the face of utter disaster is so painfully endearing, and that’s why he’s such an icon.
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is based on the incredibly popular comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. This charming little musical brings all of his characters faithfully to life, and is a wonderful first foray into children’s theatre for the Hayes Theatre Company.
Schulz first started publishing Peanuts in 1950, after which it ran for a staggering 50 years in various publications across the world. Directed by Shaun Rennie, this musical (book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, Michael Mayer and Andrew Lippa) is simple and unpretentious, with catchy songs and subtle humour. It stays true to the comic strip form, with short, snappy scenes resembling Schulz’s original vignettes.
In the title role, Mike Whalley is lovably, goofily gormless. On opening night, his awkward, no-hoper demeanour gained audible sighs of sympathy from the audience, and his expressive face enticed more than a few laughs. Although outshone on the vocal front, Whalley makes it work. In this context, his minor shortcomings only add to Charlie Brown’s hopelessness.
As crabby Lucy, Sheridan Harbridge excels. She absolutely nails the style, yelling lines with flair and impeccable comic timing. Ben Gerrard’s thumb-sucking, blanket-snuggling Linus is sublime. He’s sweet and unassuming, but entices every bit of comedy out of the script to his advantage. As assertive little Sally, Laura Murphy is an absolute pocket rocket. She’s vibrant, vivacious and perfectly bossy, and has the pipes to match.
Although not musically groundbreaking, the songs were pleasing and full of energy. Shroeder’s “Beethoven Day”, Sally’s “My New Philosophy” and Snoopy’s “Suppertime” were the musical highlights of the night, soaring with detailed physical comedy.
It’s a show that’s bound to delight, no matter your age. The young ones will enjoy the vivid colours and dynamic dances, and the old(er) ones will walk away with a smile on their face and hearts brimming with nostalgia.
Playing at the Hayes Theatre until 30th July.
Alana Kaye – Theatre Now
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Based on The Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz
Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner
Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer
Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
5 – 30 July 2016
Refer Calendar below
Venue: Hayes Theatre
Theatre Company: Hayes Theatre
Duration: Approximately 2 hours, 10 mins (including 20 minute interval)
Charles Schulz’s beloved characters come to life in this wonderfully entertaining musical by Clark Gesner. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown will play Hayes Theatre Co from Tuesday 5 July including special performances for the school holidays.
Everyone’s favourite ‘blockhead’ Charlie Brown is joined by his kid sister Sally, blanket-hugging Linus, know-it-all Lucy, Beethoven devotee Schroeder, and of course his best friend – Snoopy for adventures and life lessons that cover the best way to fly a kite, write a book report, play baseball and combat the Red Baron.
You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown is the first musical to be presented for children and families by Hayes Theatre Co, directed by Shaun Rennie with choreography by Andy Dexterity – the creative team behind the 2014 production of RENT. Joined by renowned Musical Director Michael Tyack (The Detective’s Handbook, Mary Poppins) with the talented young cast of Rohan Browne (Strictly Ballroom, A Chorus Line) as Snoopy, Ben Gerrard (I Am My Own Wife, Molly) as Linus, Sheridan Harbridge (The Detectives Handbook, Songs for the Fallen) as Lucy, Nat Jobe (Crazy For You, The King & I) as Schroeder, Laura Murphy (GREASE The Musical, Magical Tales) as Sally and Mike Whalley (Richard III, An Officer and a Gentleman) as Charlie Brown.
This production will commence matinee performances during the July school holidays from 5 July, with an additional two weeks of evening performances available for the big kids in all of us from 18 July.
Original Direction for this version of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” by Michael Mayer
Originally Produced in New York by Arthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson
“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is presented by permission of ORiGiN™ Theatrical
On behalf of Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.
Director: Shaun Rennie
Musical Director: Michael Tyack
Cast: Rohan Browne, Ben Gerrard, Sheridan Harbridge, Nat Jobe, Laura Murphy and Mike Whalley
Choreographer Andy Dexterity
Set and Costume Designer Georgia Hopkins
Lighting Designer Hugh Hamilton
Sound Designer Jeremy Silver
Prices: Full Price $55.00
Concession (Seniors/Pensioners/Students) $49.00
Child (under 12) $45.00
Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $190.00
Transaction fees may apply