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You're a good man, Charlie Brown

Leigh Ann Laube • Aug 10, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang have gone from the funny pages to the stage with Theatre Bristol’s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” the first show of its 46th anniversary season. “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a musical adaptation of the beloved comic strip starring Sally, Schroeder, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and, of course, Charlie Brown. “This production, we’ve been kind of mulling around doing for a little while,” said Michael-Thomas Griffith, who is directing the show, in which he also plays the blanket-hugging Linus Van Pelt. “We thought it would be very appealing to adults. Adults usually like it ... but it also appeals to family.” The production, Griffith said, is a day in the life of Charlie Brown. “This show is set up like comic strips. There’s short scenes, some longer scenes, some one-line scenes. It doesn’t follow a distinct story line. It just gives you an average day of Charlie Brown and the other members. ... Snoopy does have the famous World War I flying ace monologue,” he said. Charlie Brown’s misadventures with his kite are included, but you won’t see Lucy pulling the football away from him. Among the familiar tunes will be “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Happiness,” “It’s Suppertime” and “My New Philosophy.” Griffith has performed the role of Linus twice before — for Kingsport Theatre Guild in 2005 and during the Blue Plum Festival in 2007 — and he’s kept the same blanket. This is the first time he’s both acted and directed. “I do know it [the role] pretty well,” he said. “It has been more difficult than I anticipated because I have not directed and been in a show at the same time. I have a great support team and a wonderful stage manager and assistant director.” The lovable blockhead Charlie Brown is brought to life by Theatre Bristol newcomer Alan Gallivan. The supporting cast is made up of many TB veterans: Kaitlin Dodi-Monk as Lucy Van Pelt; Brandon Bentley as Beethoven superfan Schroeder; Annie Carr as Charlie Brown’s sister Sally; and Will Oliver as the crowd favorite S n o o p y. Music director is Deborah Alonzo, with choreography by Rebecca Haden. Stage manager is Cassandra Brown, with technical direction by Emily-Anne Thompson. Performances will be held weekends through Aug. 21 in Theatre Bristol’s ARTspace. Show time is 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m., Sundays. Tickets are $15, $12 and $8, and are available by calling (423) 968-4977 or online at w w w. t h e a t r e b r i s t o l . o r g .

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