Backstage with Steven Haber, aka Linus Van PeltBy Laura & Mike Clark • 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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Laura & Mike Clark 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.