Saturday, April 18, 2009

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

We enjoyed attending the Hillcrest musical You're a Good Man Charlie Brown on Thursday and Friday evenings. Hillcrest productions are always well done.

This is not a review--just my random thoughts:

I really liked the way the directors, cast, and backstage crew opened the production with a song: "The Reason We Sing." It set the tone for why we do what we do. I love it when people do new things like this.

Small cast! There were only 6 parts, but there were 9 actors. Lucy, Sally, & Snoopy were played by two different sets of actresses. Since there were four performances, they each got to do two. Charlie Brown, Linus, and Schroeder were played by three young men all four nights. Once again, what a creative idea. I've never seen that done at Hillcrest.

Very short intermission--10 minutes or less--with no concessions sold. I've never seen that before, but it made sense because we all had to be home in time for the 9 p.m. curfew. The curtain opened at 6 p.m., and it was finished about 8:20.

There are a couple of sibling relationships in the drama (Charlie & Sally; Lucy & Linus) and we had a sibling relationship on stage. Charlie Brown and Linus were identical twin brothers! At least they were identifiable because of Charlie Brown's zig-zag shirt and Linus' ubiquitous blanket.

The young man playing Schroeder is a very talented musician so he actually played the grand piano for his parts.

I haven't read the Peanuts cartoon for at least 14 years, but of course those characters are indelible in my mind. However, my children didn't have a clue what was going on because they have no reference point for any of these characters. Since we're in a community that has not grown up on Peanuts, I have a feeling a number of people were a bit lost as to the significance of some of the little vignettes.

My favorite scene/song was of four students struggling to write their book reports on Peter Rabbit.

Lucy is busy writing long sentences that just keep repeating basically nothing. After every few words, she counts to see how many words she has left to get to 100.

Linus takes a serious, philosophical approach to Peter Rabbit and Farmer McGregor.

Shroeder is not at all interested in Peter Rabbit and keeps trying to compare the story to Robin Hood which he finds to be extremely exciting. His comparisons are weak at best.

Charlie Brown just can't get started on his book report because he's not really rested so he'll just leave it to tomorrow because it wouldn't make any sense to start it if he's not really rested...

All of these thoughts are going on at once, and they're woven into one coherent song. I enjoyed it so much because I've had to grade a few too many book reports in my lifetime!

Sorry, no photos. There are very strict copyright laws with this musical.

A visitor in the audience told me, "I just saw this musical performed by adults a few months ago, and they weren't even half as good as these students."

I have always been amazed at the extraordinary productions Hillcrest pulls off thanks to some talented directors, hardworking students, and supportive parents.


Wallestads said...

Sounds like a fun show! I would LOVE to work with such a small cast. Our show this year had a total company of 85 students... an organizational challenge to say the least. :)

Mary Beth said...

Melissa, wow! That's a huge crew! You must have been really exhausted when it was over. The kids are begging me to take them again tonight...they've been quoting various lines all day.