News From Masters
The Middle School presented a brisk, colorful production of the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Claudia Boettcher Theatre before Spring Break. Enthusiastic community members turned out for the evening and morning performances on March 8 and 9.
The musical comedy is based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz for his Peanuts comic strip and portrays an average day in the life of Charlie Brown and his friends in the Peanuts gang. Seven students played the principal characters: Charlie, Lucy, Snoopy, Schroeder, Linus, Sally and Peppermint Patty. An 18-member ensemble of students rounded out the cast.
With their vivid primary-colored costumes and clever props, the cast members seemed to have stepped straight out of the comic strip’s pages and onto the stage. The scenery included a red doghouse for Snoopy, a tiny blue piano for Linus and a yellow “Psychiatric Help: 5 cents” stand.
The characters’ personalities and quirks reflected those portrayed in the comic strip. Lucy regularly criticizes Charlie, but is hopelessly in love with Schroeder, a piano prodigy who ignores her attentions. Linus carries his blanket everywhere he goes, while Charlie pines for a mysterious redheaded girl. Snoopy is given to flights of fancy, such as his imagined battle in the air with his World War I nemesis, The Red Baron.
The musical concluded on a rousing note, with the full company singing the song “Happiness.” Lucy then turned to Charlie Brown and assured him, "You're a good man, Charlie Brown."
Helping to stage the musical was a student production team consisting of 28 members. Performing arts teacher Jessica Bogart served as director, Katie Meadows as musical director/conductor and Jason Reiff as choreographer. Mary Chappell oversaw production design, Amanda Labonte served as lighting designer, and Gilles Pugatch served as sound designer.