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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.