The University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theatre presents Clark Gesner’s beloved Broadway hit, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a musical that brings Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts characters to the stage with a Grammy nominated score.
This charming play follows the loveable loser through a day pondering the meaning of life and pining over the Little Red-Haired Girl. He finds solace in friendships with Linus, little sister Sally, bossy nemesis Lucy, musical genius Schroeder – and, of course, man’s best friend, Snoopy.
Director Fran Gebhard, an acting instructor in the Department of Theatre, said Charlie Brown continues to resonate with audiences young and old because everyone can relate to feeling like the underdog. “Charlie Brown has already stood the test of time,” Gebhard said. “He doesn’t need to be changed to be relevant. Everything these kids go through – depression, anxiety, existentialism, bullying – still plague us today, and the Peanuts gang do a beautiful job of exploring how to overcome these problems on their own.”
Gebhard takes the show back to its roots with both the set and costume designs drawing from the early versions of Schulz’s comic strips.
The cast of seven students from the department of theatre includes locally known musician Kale Penny (from the band Sunday Buckets), who won last year’s Mount Doug Idol, and Christie Stewart, who made it to the Top 20 of CBC’s national search for Dorothy last fall in Over the Rainbow. Under the leadership of music director Jim Hill and assistant music director and pianist Adrian Bronson, this cast will have the whole family singing along to catchy and endearing songs like My New Philosophy, Happiness and Suppertime. Previews of the music can be found on iTunes through a link at phoenixtheatres.ca.
Evening performances are at 8 p.m. March 20, 21, 22, 23 with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. Tickets range from $16 to $24, call the box office at 250-721-8000. The show is appropriate for ages six and older.