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Family-friendly drama on WHS stage


Classic 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' brings beloved comic strip characters to life

Fans of musical productions and comic strip lovers of all ages are sure to appreciate Wilsonville High School’s fourth and final theatrical production of the school year.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” presents vignettes taken from a day in the life of everyone’s favorite blockhead, the striped-shirt wearing Charlie Brown. The play opens on the school’s main stage May 8 and runs for two weekends.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Snoopy, played by Olivia Klugman, serenades the audience from the top of his doghouse, while the Woodstocks snooze. The Woodstocks, from left, are played by Izzy Ochocki, Deidre Fitzgerald, Kylee Kamakawa and Jordan Jaffe.Based on the long-running comic strip “Peanuts” and featuring music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, the musical originally was produced off-Broadway in 1967 and revived in 1999 with a key character, Charlie Brown’s precocious little sister Sally, added in.

The show tackles the topics such as being the best you can be, blanket fixations and childhood crushes, with Charlie Brown (senior Aaron Gilbert) alternately longing for and fearing attention from the Little Red-Haired Girl, while Lucy (senior Justine Cohen) ceaselessly flirts with the Beethoven-worshiping pianist, Schroeder (senior Jason Kummerman).

Kids of all ages will chuckle along in recognition when Linus (sophomore Mark Pintar), Lucy, Schroeder, and Charlie Brown share in rounds of song describing how each will tackle an impending book report deadline to write about “Peter Rabbit.”

As in the comic strip by Charles Schulz, it’s hard to stop Snoopy (junior Olivia Klugman) from stealing the show. Snoopy is especially crowd-pleasing when he imagines himself a World War I flying ace attempting to shoot down his arch-enemy the Red Baron or when he leads the entire cast in a rousing rendition of the song “Suppertime.”

Justine Cohen's character, Lucy, tries without success to woo Jason Kummerman's Schroeder. Other popular songs from the show that many parents may recall from days gone by include the theme song, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Snoopy” and the closing song, “Happiness.” A popular recent addition is Sally’s “My New Philosophy,” (sung by junior Aubrey Slaughter) which is sure to tickle kids from toddler to teen.

By the end of a trying day, Charlie Brown still is not sure whether he is a “good man.” But considering that Sally received a D on her homework assignment, Lucy has socked her brother for helping her with her crabbiness survey and Schroeder’s glee club rehearsal has completely fallen apart, maybe Charlie Brown can stop being so wishy-washy and figure it all out.

“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is directed by John Fitzgerald with choreography by WHS alumna Samantha Lockyear.

Fitzgerald says the play is a great way to end a very successful season for the WHS drama department.

“Our goal has been to provide as many opportunities for students to participate in theater as possible, and this show helps us do that,” he said. “This is a really fun play with recognizable characters and lots of fun singing and dancing. This dose of joy seems a great way to end of the school year. Finally, the show has a really sweet message that despite the stress and pressures of daily life, we can find happiness in ‘anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you.’”

The production runs May 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. A matinee will be offered May 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults; purchase online at wildcatdrama.com  or at the door the night of the show. The WHS box office now accepts cash, checks, debit and credit cards.