I recently was invited to see You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which is playing right now at ATP in Calgary.
I have always been a big fan of theatre, and of the Peanuts gang, so I was interested to see how they could possibly take a cartoony comic strip and make it into a live musical.
I had my doubts, and for about the first 38 seconds after the lights went down. I sat and watched with severe judgement… But on the 39th second I was involved with the characters and the script. I was totally buying what they were selling!
The show, which is not ‘Christmas themed’ was a smart choice for the theatre. Allowing patrons who don’t celebrate the holiday a chance to see something they can get behind. And as a comic turned stage, children under 12 took up a good portion of the seats!
The combination of singing and quick inserts of character segments was fast-moving, and could easily hold anyone’s attention. Humor was simple for kids to understand and the nostalgia for the adults is what made us smile.
Although Ron Pederson, who played Charlie Brown, was majorly sick and could barely muster out a solid note, it seemingly played well to the character and didn’t have me wanting to storm out of the theatre.
For me the stand out performance of the night came from Katherine Fadum who plays Lucy.
You could tell that this actor studied her character. Every movement was well calculated to emulate the ‘crabby’ demeanor of the blue dress-ed little girl! The comedic timing and commitment to character deserves her to be recognized when the Betty Awards are announced.
The other part of the show that should definitely be recognized and awarded is the team behind ‘Set Design’
There was not one aspect of the set that didn’t have me believing that I was watching a comic come to life.
As the show closes, the audience is treated to two of the best scores of the night; ‘Supper Time’ which just doesn’t seem to end, adding to the delight of it all, and ‘Happiness’ which has the cast remind us that the Peanuts gang will aways stick together!
The show is fun, light-hearted and very easy to sit through.
I give it my personal recommendation if you’re looking to just have an easy and enjoyable night out!
You are indeed a “Good Man Charlie Brown!”
Mr. Fab rown