Review: YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN at Marriott Theatre
This morning at Marriott's Lincolnshire Theatre, the Children's Theatre production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown under the direction of and choreographed by Linda Fortunato, came to life. What a wonderful 55 minutes of entertainment.
Looking around at the audience, everyone was smiling. The children were enthralled - many of them bringing their Peanuts character stuffed animals. Snoopy was well represented. My 2 new young friends, Olivia, 9 and her sister, Stella, 7, called it awesome and amazing. I could see how much they were enjoying the production. It is wonderful to see theatre through the eyes of children.
The adults still love the simple yet very truthful approach to life through the beloved characters of Charlie Brown (Patrick Michael Tierney), his sister Sally (Amanda Walker), Lucy (Tafadzwa Diener) and her brother Linus (Jackson Evans), Schroeder (Matthew Bettencourt) and of course Snoopy (Andres Enriquez). The music and lyrics by Clark Gener (also the book) sound so much like Charles M. Schulz that you think he wrote them. Because the show has been shortened, not all of the scenes and songs were part of the production.
The small orchestra is under the direction of Rick Bertone. A favorite song of mine is The Book Report (about Peter Rabbit) but due to time, it was not in this production. Snoopy's Suppertime, an all-time classic and favorite, was performed in a jazz style that was sensational. The audience loved it. The closing song of Happiness with its simple lyrics about what makes us happy always tugs at my heart. It was nice to be able to sing the final refrain along with the cast.
The minimal set consisted of different colored boxes, Snoopy's doghouse, a mailbox and Lucy's psychiatrist booth. Blankets were front and center. As I found out, Stella and Olivia have their own blankets. I think many adults have blankets - whether made of cloth or something else.
Charlie Brown takes us back to a simpler time. It also brings back childhood memories. Sometimes in a hectic world, that is the respite needed. Marriott's production will keep you smiling. You might just feel like a kid again for 55 minutes. Enjoy that.