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Backstage with Steven Haber, aka Linus Van Pelt

By • Feb 17th, 2007 • Category: Interviews, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

We continue our shadowing of the Springfield Community Theatre’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by chatting with Steven Haber, who plays Linus Van Pelt [MP3 4:52 1.4MB]. Or read the transcript of the chat.

Mike: Hi this is Mike Clark with ShowBizRadio. I’m backstage at the Springfield Community Theatre’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I’m talking with Steven Haber who is playing Linus. How are you doing, Steven?

Steven: I’m doing fine, how are you doing?

Mike: I’m doing well. So I hope you’re enjoying yourself as Linus. Have you been learning a lot of new things through this role?

Steven: I am. I found some challenges I didn’t expect, but it’s been a lot of fun, too.

Mike: I would guess one of the challenges is dancing.

Steven: One of the challenges is dancing. I think I’m the oldest person in the cast and possibly the oldest Linus anyone has ever seen.

Mike: You definitely feel like a Linus. It is not an insult or anything. I think you’re doing the part really well.

Steven: Thank you. I hope to express the character in more ways than dancing.

Mike: What have you done in the past? How did you get started doing acting and performing?

Steven: I used to do acting in high school. The usual stuff. I took some acting classes and did some productions in college. Then I started working in New York and things got too busy for it. I think what got me back into performing was I joined a chorus in New York and sang a lot for a few years. Then I moved to Washington I joined a similar chorus and maybe a few plays I was involved in. After that I started auditioning for some of the community theatre because I realized how much I missed performing.

Mike: Since you’re in the chorus, do you prefer musicals over regular plays?

Steven: I like both. I know there’s some people who prefer one to h other. I enjoy the energy of a musical and I like a dramatic role where you can get into something a little more deeply without having to worry about music and movement in the same place.

Mike: What would your ideal part be or a part you would just kill to be in?

Steven: I’ve already done it actually.

Mike: Oh really?

Steven: Several years ago in a male version of Nunsense called Nunsense Amen. I played the Mother Superior. That was my favorite all time role.

Mike: What made it such a fun great role?

Steven: It had a lot of heart to it. It was a funny show. It was well received. I love the humor of the part.

Mike: Is it the same as the regular Nunsense or is it written for men?

Steven: It wasn’t rewritten. It was the same exact script. The only difference was they transposed the numbers into male appropriate keys. We like to think of Nunsense as genderless.

Mike: I talked to Lexi Haddad playing Lucy a couple hours ago. She had good things to say about having a little brother. How do you feel about having a big sister?

Steven: I love having a big sister. It’s especially fun that my big sister is 12 years old.

Mike: Do you have a sister in real life that you’re working off of, or a big brother?

Steven: I have two sisters and two brothers so I can use all of those. I feel close to my sisters so it’s really helpful. Although Linus and Lucy have their little spats on stage, you see that they really love each other, too.

Mike: What character are you most like in real life do you think?

Steven: In this play I think it’s a mixture. There are many parts to me that are like Linus. I think everyone can identify with Charlie Brown. We always feel like we don’t fit in in some places. That’s probably part of why this how is so popular. What I really like about this show and I’m not sure Springfield Community Theatre’s publicity is pointed it out, but this is probably not the You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown that most people have seen. In the 1999 Broadway revival, they rewrote so much of it. They changed some characters. The original didn’t have a Sally in it and this one does. I recall the music being a lot more simplistic. A lot more juvenile, which matched the characters, but when they redid it they added a lot more harmony and musical styles. You’ll hear a lot more classical tributes and some rock and roll things that people might not remember from the original. There is some interesting stuff going on musically in this production.

Mike: That’s true. Sally was played by Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway and she got a Tony award for it.

Steven: Exactly and my guess is they pretty much wrote that part with her in mind.

Mike: I can definitely see her in that.

Mike: What’s your favorite number or song from the show?

Steven: I think I like the Beethoven Day number the best.

Mike: Why is that?

Steven: I think it’s got a lot of energy. Part of it might be because we’ve rehearsed that one so much. We now it pretty well. I also like happiness. It’s a nice tag to the end of the play.

Mike: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Steven: I just hope people will come see the show and enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed working on it.

Mike: Ok, well, thanks very much for chatting with me today.

Steven: Thank you.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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