J.E.B. Stuart High School You’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownBy Cappies • Apr 18th, 2013 • Category: Cappies
Happiness is finding a pencil, pizza with sausage, telling the time. Happiness is J.E.B. Stuart High School’s production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was written in 1967 with book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner. The play is based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. It opened off-Broadway in 1967 before moving on Broadway in 1971. The show is done in the vignette style, portraying multiple short stories containing the same characters and sharing a common thread, but without a central plotline. The story revolves around Charlie Brown, a boy who just has nothing ever go right for him, and his interactions with the other kids he knows, his clueless little sister Sally, the forceful Lucy Van Pelt and her intellectual little brother Linus, and the Beethoven obsessed piano player Schroeder, among others.
Sam Williams (Charlie Brown) skillfully handled the role of the title character. With strong vocals and great reactions and stage presence, Williams nailed the adorably pathetic character of Charlie Brown. He had good comedic timing when delivering lines and provided stability for the other members of the cast to depend on and play off of.
Williams was backed by a strong supporting cast. Elizabeth Burr (Sally Brown) brought great energy to her role. She had hilarious facial expressions and reactions throughout the show. She also was an adept dancer with good movement on stage and made good use of a nasal, high-pitched voice that fit with her character. Aria Nawab (Schroeder) had great comedic timing and line delivery. He demonstrated strong vocals and energy in songs such as “Beethoven Day” and “Book Report.” Ali Cheraghpour (Linus) created many funny moments with his blanket, especially his song “My Blanket and Me,” complete with an adorable dance between him and Elizabeth Burr playing the blanket.
The J.E.B Stuart Pit Orchestra did a wonderful job with the music. They kept up the energy with the lively music of the show and blended perfectly with the actors without any noticeable mistakes. The show was choreographed by Elizabeth Burr, who came up with cute choreography that everyone in the cast could handle and that was very effective in the presentation of the numbers. One highlight was “Supper Time” where they broke out the top hats and canes to produce a hysterically funny dance that had the whole audience laughing.
The J.E.B. Stuart Stage Crew did a fantastic job of moving the set quickly and quietly. The set changes went very smoothly and were not distracting for the audience. The set was designed to look like a comic book background, with a bright blue sky and puffy white cartoon clouds. This was broken up into panels, furthering the comic book effect. Oversized furniture was used, helping to create a child-like atmosphere for the actors. Props were color coded to match the character’s costumes they belonged to which was an appreciated touch.
Despite some off-pitch vocals and lagging energy, the cast of J.E.B. Stuart High School’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown came together to produce a heart-warming, entertaining production.
by Madeleine Lucas of Oakcrest School
Photos by David Mosher
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