GOOD GRIEF, HOBOKEN!
Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Schroeder, Sally & Charlie Brown on Stage Feb. 3-26
By Sally Deering
In 1967, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown opened Off Broadway at Theater 80 in the East Village, and 50 years later it still charms and delights audiences of all ages. Songs like “Suppertime” and “Happiness” are classics of musical theater and cartoonist Charles M. Schultz’s characters Snoopy, Lucy and Charlie Brown are as iconic – and adorable – today as they were back then.
Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken opens its 2017 season with You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown beginning Friday, Feb. 3 and running through Sunday, Feb. 26. The musical, featuring Schultz’s Peanuts Gang is a series of vignettes about Lucy who worships Schroeder who worships Beethoven; curious Sally and Linus, who doesn’t feel complete without his blanket; and Charlie Brown and his funny, loyal and precocious pup, Snoopy. Mary Kate Burke directs with musical direction by Terri Gorgone, and choreography by Sarah Weber-Gallo. Jen Price-Fick designed the set.
“We’re doing it pretty faithful to the story, because the story is so strong,” Mary Kate Burke says after a Wednesday rehearsal. “We cast actors who feel faithful to how the comic strip depicts them.”
All the roles are performed by adults. Playing the Peanuts Gang are Mikey LoBalsamo as Charlie Brown, Marcus Beckett as Schroeder, Aiesha Dukes as Lucy van Pelt, Chris Goodrich as Linus van Pelt, Clare Rea as Sally Brown and Brandon Santoro as Snoopy.
Based on the comic strip Peanuts® by Charles M. Schulz, the musical is the work of Clark Gesner who wrote the book (libretto), music, and lyrics. There’s additional dialogue by Michael Mayer; and additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.
In rehearsals: Aiesha Dukes (Lucy) and Chris Goodrich (Linus) learn dance steps from choreographer Sarah Weber-Gallo.
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a classic,” Burke says, “and it’s adorable. The show is meatier than what you’d expect. It’s got a lot of adult humor in it; it’s not just for the kids. I know they say that a lot about children’s shows, but with this one it’s really true. Every day we leave rehearsal singing something. It’s a fun show.”
Mile Square Theatre just moved into its new space at 1400 Clinton Street last year thanks, in part, to the vision and persistence of the company’s artistic director Chris O’Connor, and the rest of the company and board of directors. It’s a beautiful building with studios for classes and an intimate black-box theater.
A few years back, Burke directed one of Mile Square Theatre’s annual productions of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” She makes her directorial debut in the new theater with You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
“When I first walked into the lobby, I felt so much pride for Chris,” Burke says. “Having a ‘home’ creates a permanence and it allows you to know who your audience is, program shows for them, and become a part of the fabric of the community. Chris wants to make great art for the community and he’s succeeding. As the community continues to grow, Mile Square Theatre does as well. ”
If you go
Fri, Feb. 3 – Sun, Feb. 26; Fri at 7 pm,
Sat at 2 pm & 6 pm; Sun, 11 am & 3 pm
Mile Square Theatre
1400 Clinton St, HOB
Tix: $30; Student/Senor: $15
For school bookings, and further info
contact Erin: firstname.lastname@example.org.