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You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: A Review


Last Friday I went to a university production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, expecting a great performance. I had never seen the musical before, but my dad played Snoopy in his hay day which is super embarrassing but I figured that I would be in for a good show. I guess I forgot that I’m in Canada and people are bad at everything here.youre_a_good_man_charlie_brown-show

I don’t know a lot about the performing arts, but I know when a show is bad and when a show is good. I know what over acting looks like and I know how to spot lazy props and backdrops. College students should be at the point where they don’t come off as annoying or pretentious thespians on stage. They need to be able to morph into a character. If you cannot do this simple task by the time you’re graduating college, there’s really no hope for you. Sorry, but it’s true. I’m not saying that I know everything about acting, but yes that’s exactly what I’m saying.

From the minute that I heard the actors fake voices, I knew it was going to be a long show. It just seemed so forced. The girl who played Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, put on a voice that made me cringe. It wasn’t charming or funny at all. If I were her, I would’ve studied the old TV specials and mimicked the voices that they used. If that’s what this actress was trying to do, she failed miserably. She put on this high pitched, pinched nose voice which didn’t resemble that Sally that I know whatsoever. So congrats on being a terrible actress. She did have a good singing voice though. That was her redeeming factor.charliebrownschristmastales-02

Note to the costume designer: Sally does not have a full head of curly hair. She has poofy bangs and wears light blue, not bright pink. Good job on messing that up and distracting me. You’re fired.

The girl who played Lucy was a much better actress than anyone else there. That being said, her part didn’t require much. She also put on a weird voice, but not as awful as Sally’s. I don’t know if they had a meeting where they tried to teach the girls how to enunciate and taught them to get the audience’s attention by putting on crazy voices, but that’s what it seemed like. I could imagine them having a voice coach saying, “Very good, but try to be more annoying if possible.”

I’m going to include one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies because that’s what I’d like to think their voice coaching would be like. Bursting into choreographed dancing and everything.

The guy who played Schroeder was really good. He had good comedic timing. However, he wasn’t a big character and he didn’t have a lot to do. At least his outfit was identical to his character’s and his voice was normal. Snaps for Schroeder.

Peppermint Patty was fine. She was barely in the show at all. Why include her and not Marcie? It would’ve been cute to see Marcie and Patty’s young lesbo relationship. I do like the fact that Patty calls Charlie Brown “Chuck”. I just wanted Marcie to be around to address Patty as “Sir”.itebcb-04

Linus and Charlie Brown were below par. First of all, the guy playing Linus was chunky. Like, chunky in a way that you couldn’t look past it or focus on his character. Linus shouldn’t be chunky. He’s like 7 years old. In the show they said that they were 5 years old but I don’t believe that because they were writing book reports and no 5 year old can write their own name, let alone a book report.TV Peanuts Online

Charlie Brown was okay but his vocals weren’t that good. He could’ve been stronger on that department. Other than that, he played Charlie Brown pretty well. He seemed terminally depressed, so he was either really into his character, or actually severely depressed.

Snoopy was probably the best part of the show. I guess they have to save their best actor for Snoopy because he has the best songs and has to balance on top of a dog house most of the time. Snoopy was definitely entertaining so I would give him two thumbs up…or two paws up! I don’t know…I hate myself.snoopy-cizgifilm

The set design was actually pretty good. All the props looked exactly how they appeared on the show so I was happy that they got at least one thing right.

I guess I’m just used to living in the states where we spend lots of money on theater departments. Like, no joke my high school performances were better than this university production. Talent wise, costume wise, production quality and value wise. Whenever I say anything like this, my husband likes to point out that maybe that’s why the US has no money–because we spend it on dumb things. And maybe he’s right. But at least we have high quality entertainment.

 

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37 thoughts on “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: A Review

  1. It was good of you to stay for the whole thing with it being so sub-par and all. I can’t understand why they would attempt to alter their voices to the point that they became annoying. I don’t think Charles Schultz would be pleased. Funny review, Lil!

    • Thanks! No, Charles would be extremely insulted. He and I are on a first name basis apparently. Their voices were so annoying. It’s crazy because the characters on TV had the most subdued voices around. Why alter them? So weird…

    • Marcie is so awesome and submissive huh? Hah that’s okay. I’ll just have to wait for a better performance…I’ll probably be waiting for a long time…

  2. One thing my husband and I simply cannot agree on is Peanuts. I am a major fan, while he wants to stick forks in his eyes whenever it’s on TV. So I can totally understand how cringeworthy it would be to have to sit through a poor performance of the play.

    Also, did you go to New Trier? I bet you went to New Trier.

    • Peanuts is bomb. So kind and innocent, yet depressing and grown up at the same time. It’s deep, man. It was supes cringeworthy. You would’ve cried.

      Ugh I wish I could’ve gone to New Trier. I went to Barrington which was full of annoying people, me being one of them.

  3. I’m increasingly convinced theatre companies should have stopped producing “Charlie Brown” for good after 1982. In other words, this might not be entirely Canada’s fault.
    – Token polite Canadian commenter

  4. Hahahaha burn.

    I went to a musical on the weekend that was for a charity and while the acting wasn’t great, there were stuff-ups and at times the singing wasn’t great, I had an absolute blast. I guess the difference is when people are doing something for fun (like this play) and when they’re doing it to showcase how ‘serious actor’ they are, which is what your experience sounds like.

    How disappointing that they managed to screw up Snoopy. It’s a talking dog for goodness sakes!

    • I know what you mean. I like light-hearted funny plays, which this should’ve been, but it definitely wasn’t. I’m glad one of us had a good theater experience this weekend! :D

  5. ZZ says:

    But who among us HASN’T, at some point, started tap-dancing in the middle of a boring thermodynamics lecture? I know I have…

    • Haha thank you! I was super sad by the lack of appearance from Marcie! Peppermint Patty and Marcie are like two peas in a pod–how could the show leave her out?!

  6. I think you need to become a theater director. At the very least you need to start going into theaters and telling everyone what they did wrong then break things. I don’t know enough about the Peanuts gang to really know or care about what they did wrong. The bad voices would bug me. Did everyone else seem to enjoy the show? If they did they were just being nice.

    • The theater was full of Canadians so I’m sure they enjoyed it because they thought they were supposed to. Paul didn’t. Whew. I could totally see myself breaking things and yelling at people. That would be really fun and get a lot of aggression out.

  7. I’m sorry, that is really unfortunate. There is nothing worse than watching something like that, especially when your hopes are high!

    On a side note…I absolutely LOVE Singin’ In the Rain :)

  8. As a lifelong peanuts fans who will cancel plans to watch the specials, I can understand your disappointment. Considering the characters and story, I wouldn’t consider it a loss if they just spoke regularly. The altered voices at best seem geared towards kids; while we ‘relive’ those childhood moments by watching, who wants to be spoken to like that?!

    • Totally. The character’s voices on the TV show were nothing but normal and subdued. I was so surprised to hear the squeaky, loud voices of the actors. It’s all their fault really. I guess maybe the musical would’ve seemed boring if they all spoke in a normal tone, but it would’ve resembled the show and Charles Schultz’s vision more. I’m guessing..

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  10. pops says:

    just wanted to say that was a funny post and it made me smile so thank you–my ‘hay day’ was very short but i made a pretty good dog

  11. I want to see real kids do this play. Real, live kids. And I want the one who plays Charlie Brown to shave his whole head except his bangs like this: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=name+for+shaved+head+with+bangs&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=v4rFyv7jewr-qM&tbnid=4jn_mGfXW4kg_M:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myspace.com%2Fdjkalisari%2Fphotos%2F3690438&ei=71BaUYjxAqyM0QGeroCIAw&bvm=bv.44442042,d.dmQ&psig=AFQjCNFH7Px2KfOjpGqDqq9KnEre9b2azQ&ust=1364959853238410 Why isn’t there a name for that style?

    I just found your blog recently (after submitting a post with Kidz Showz) and I laugh out loud reading it. I never laugh out loud.

    • That’s a fantastic complement. I love making people laugh so I’m glad I got you to laugh out loud! I never really laugh out loud when I’m online, but when I do then I know something is super funny. So I appreciate you saying that.

      Okay that was the ONLY cool thing about this play. The guy who played Charlie Brown actually did make his hair like that. I should’ve mentioned it but I wasn’t sure people would understand what I was talking about! Hah
      But I really like your idea of having kids act in the musical. It’s not even super challenging so they could totally do it.

      Thanks for submitting work into Kidz Showz! That’s so great! I look forward to reading your post! :D

  12. They wrote a play about Charlie Brown? :\ I guess I’m used to living in England where going to the theatre is ghey. Although saying that, I did go out in fancy dress for Rocky Horror Show theatre thing so I can’t say a word.

    • Hah yeah it’s been around for a while! It’s a musical too! But it’s kind of lame. Not gonna lie. LOL the theater in England is so good though! I guess only in London it is. I really like RHPS–super fun!

      • It took me quite a few alcoholic drinks to get into it, I think it may have been the early start, long drive and lack of sleep that made me such a barrel of laughs for the first half haha, having to stick around to watch a bunch of drags until the stroke of midnight was a bummer too.

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