“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” Opens at Church Hill Theatre

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You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, based on Charles Schulz’s beloved “Peanuts” comic strip with music, lyrics and book by Clark Gesner, opens at Church Hill Theatre on Friday, June 9. This catchy and family-friendly musical directed by Sylvia Maloney will run for three weekends, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

All the “Peanuts” characters, Charlie Brown (Matt Folker), Frieda (Morgan Armstrong), Marcie (Faith McCarthy), Pig Pen (Jarrett Plante), Lucy (Becca Van Aken), Linus (Elliott Morotti), Woodstock (Katie Sardo) and Sally (Maya McGrory) join in the singing of “Beethoven Day” led by Schroeder (David Ryan).

The CHT cast of outstanding adult actors quickly escorts the audience into the magical world created by Charles Schulz. As the show’s creator Clark Gesner explains, “None of the cast is actually six years old. And they don’t really look like Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” cartoon characters. But this doesn’t seem to make that much difference once we are into the play, because what they are saying to each other is with the openness of that early childhood time, and the obvious fact is that they are all really quite fond of each other.” The musical has charmed audiences since its premier in 1967, perhaps most memorably in the 1999 Broadway revival where Kristin Chenoweth and Roger Bart won Tony Awards for playing Sally and Snoopy.

Over the course of the show, Charlie’s young friends help him discover what it really means to be a “good man.” Along the way, Snoopy battles with the Red Baron, Lucy runs her psychiatrist booth and teaches alternative facts, Linus has a love-hate relationship with his blanket, Sally finds school exceptionally frustrating, and Schroeder seeks solace in his music. Charlie Brown just keeps stumbling along, with failures ranging from the kite-eating tree to the Little League Baseball Championship. By the end, all of us can agree that being a good person may mean trying your best and making the most of things.

Lucy (Becca Van Aken) coaches Charlie Brown (Matt Folker) center, surrounded by the cheering entire baseball team Sally (Maya McGrory), Marcie (Faith McCarthy), Pig Pen (Jarrett Plante), Frieda (Morgan Armstrong), Linus (Elliott Morotti), Schroeder (David Ryan) and Woodstock (Katie Sardo).

Church Hill Theatre’s production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is directed by Sylvia S. Maloney, with music direction by Ellen Barry Grunden and choreography by Cavin Moore. Maloney has cast Matt Folker as Charlie Brown, Becca Van Aken as Lucy, Elliott Morotti as Linus, Maya McGrory as Sally, David Ryan as Schroeder and Julie Lawrence as Snoopy. Other “Peanuts” characters are played by Samantha Smith, Faith McCarthy, Amy Gilliland, Morgan Armstrong, Jarrett Plante, and Katie Sardo.  Devin Kirchner is the production stage manager with Jim Johnson as assistant stage manager.  Michael Whitehill is in charge of set design/construction, Brian Draper is the set artist and Doug Kaufmann, with assistants Molly Heal and Laura Crabtree, is the lighting designer.  Tina Johnson and Erma Johnson are in charge of costumes for the musical.

The production opens on Friday, June 9 and runs through June 25. Discounts are available for CHT Members and groups of 10 or more. Reservations are strongly advised and can be made by calling 410-556-6003 or online at churchhilltheatre.org.

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