Peanuts jumps from strip to stage in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Oct 28, 2016 10:35AM
By Kelly Cannon
The Sandy Arts Guild presented “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” as their fall musical. (Karla Marsden/Sandy Arts Guild)
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Sandy, Utah - The classic characters from the Peanuts gang came alive during the Sandy Arts Guild’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The show, which ran Oct. 7–22 at the Mount Jordan Middle School Theater, tells the story of a day in the life Charlie Brown through monologues, short scenes and musical numbers. Based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz, the cast also includes Linus, Schroeder, Lucy, Sally and Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy.
The show was directed by Lisa Noyes. Noyes was selected after interviewing with the Sandy Arts Guild.
“They called me and asked if I’d be interested in directing,” Noyes said. “It’s such a fun show with such fun music.”
In preparation of casting the show, Noyes did a lot of research into the original comic strip, as well as watched the cartoon specials of Peanuts.
“(During auditions) I would close my eyes and try to get the character out of the voice,” Noyes said. “I went off looks to try to put an ensemble together to bring the characters alive.”
Noyes said her vision of the production was to bring the comic strip to life. She wanted the set and play to allow audience members to walk into the theater and remember reading Charlie Brown when they were younger.
“I want them to step out of their life and enjoy an entertaining night,” Noyes said.
The biggest challenge for Noyes and her cast was the shortened rehearsal schedule. There was only six weeks of rehearsal time before opening night. However, because the cast is made up of only six actors, Noyes said the show was simpler to plan and a lot easier to block.
“The show came together beautifully,” Noyes said.
Noyes was hard pressed to select one part of the play as her favorite. She said every time she watched the show, she would pick a new favorite part.
“The show is so fun and so different every time,” Noyes said. “When the musical numbers come on, that’s going to be your favorite part.”
Josh Little played the titular role of Charlie Brown. Little played the role 27 years previously in high school. He recently was looking for a show to do and thought Charlie Brown would be ideal.
“We can all relate to Charlie Brown,” Little said. “He’s the loveable loser. He has things going wrong in spades.”
Little said he feels he’s been preparing for the role of Charlie Brown for the past 47 years.
“It’s my life story,” Little said. “He seems to have a lot of things go wrong but he keeps trying.”
The hardest part of preparing for the show for Little was the dancing. As a trained singer, Little said he performs in plays for the chance to sing. However, he said with Noyes’s patience, he was able to accomplish it.
Little’s favorite part of the show was the baseball scene.
“It has the most energy and is an interesting display of all the characters,” Little said. “It’s also a tender moment.”
Krista Gowda played the role of Lucy in the show. Gowda was working as the assistant stage manager for the Sandy Arts Guild’s summer production of “The Little Mermaid.” While her background is in stage craft, Gowda said the role of Lucy was a part she has loved since high school.
“I haven’t been on stage in years but Lucy is one of those parts that is so fun,” Gowda said. “It’s one of those dream roles.”
Gowda described Lucy as being crabby, royal, brilliant and always right.
“She’s the ultimate big sister,” Gowda said. “It’s her calling to set everyone straight.”
Gowda said she hoped audience members lost themselves in the fun of the music.
“I hope they leave full of enjoyment and maybe a little nostalgia,” Gowda said.