Review – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

[Archived from May 22, 2009]

The CenterStage theater company at the Jewish Community Center continues to prove it is versatile, capable and truly delivers an excellent product for a very affordable price.

With its most recent production, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the small cast captured the essence of Charles Shulz’s immortal comic strip: short, pithy scenes that quickly get to the point – from Charlie Brown’s dismal performance on the baseball field to Snoopy’s imaginary exploits as a World War I flying ace taking on the Red Baron.

Monty Fields had Charlie Brown down perfectly – basically wanting to be happy, but watching almost everything around him be less than successful; patiently enduring his friends’ and sister’s snippy comments about how plain and average he is.

Pete Lay was also a standout as Snoopy. His high-energy performance lit up the stage as he danced around and climbed up and down from the doghouse roof.

Jennifer Casey Thompson as Sally Brown, Emily Fields as Lucy VanPelt, Chris Bryand as Shroeder and Kyle Braun as Linus VanPelt also gave convincing performances.

As always, the orchestra, led by John Spencer, was flawless.

Artistic Director John R. Leffert will be celebrating his 10th season with CenterStage next year and has chosen  a full lineup of his favorites, including several that he has staged before. The 2009-10 season will begin in July with The Producers and continue with A Grand Night for Singing, La Cage aux Folles, Cabaret, The Last Five Years, The Wizard of Oz and Curtains.


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