Are you ready for the cutest show you’ll see all year? If you said yes, then Aleksandar Vass and Vass Productions are bringing you all your favourite Peanuts for the school holidays! And it’s not just for the kids, there’s a lot in this production for the adults too!
Snoopy and friends are back in an inspired production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. This production literally takes the comic and transposes it onto the stage. Each vignette, each song, each set piece and costume look just like they were lifted from Charles M. Schulz’s original Peanuts comic strip.
Director Gary Abrahams shows exceptional understanding of the characters and world of Charlie Brown, and delivers a show executed with utmost respect and integrity for its iconic history; not to mention the right amount of humour and fun. Ben Kiley’s musical direction is tight and precise. The cast sing in balanced unison creating a great wall of sound, while in solo moments, they remain childlike and perfectly immature. Don’t expect a live band; a lively pre-recorded track works well to keep the show bopping along with balanced sound by Marcello Lo Ricco. Dana Jolly keeps her choreography simple, stylised and effective.
Upon entering the theatre, a boldly coloured open stage, decorated with stylized outdoor sketches awaits an excited audience. Two 3D comic panel frames await later scenes with coloured backdrops to transport us to different locations. Jacob Battista’s set design is cleverly functional and when simply and effectively lit by lighting designer, Rob Sowinski, provides a bright and bold canvas for our cast to play in. From the outset, this production delivers a suitably familiar and polished product.
As our cast bounds onto the stage, we are delighted by more bold colours; their costumes have been made to perfection. Every printed line and static curl in the fabric allows each of Chloe Greeves’ costumes to appear exactly as we expect to see these characters.
Cameron McDonald portrays our hero, Charlie Brown. Charlie’s not quite a hero yet though and McDonald balances Charlie’s melancholy and insecure nature with an adorable sense of hope. His defining moment, “The Kite song” shows him struggle with flying a kite; a song that encapsulates every high and low of his frustrations with life. Courtney Glass is Lucy, a crabby young girl with a violent temper. She manages to keep us on side and retain her friends with many humorous moments throughout, despite not being the kindest at heart.
Sarah Morrison is Sally. She is inquisitive about her world and particularly in her anthem “My New Philosophy”, shines in her sweetly inquisitive role. Joshua Robson is positively animated as Schroeder, the studious intellect of the group. He plays his character most truthfully, winning the audience in return. Adam Porter shows off his triple threat status as Linus. He convincingly appeals as the youngest member of the comic cohorts and dances up a storm with his beloved blanket in “My Blanket and Me”.
Stealing the show, Luigi Lucente plays Snoopy. He adopts a suitably cool and aloof nature and retains the audience in the palm of his paw right through to his rapturous “Suppertime”.
Don’t hesitate to see this show! With a limited three week season, You’re a good Man Charlie Brown is a true theatrical delight, offering nostalgia and a polished, joyful product for the whole family to enjoy!