Pekin presents ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’
PACKWOOD — Charlie Brown, the lovable loser filled with endless determination and hope from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, comes to life this weekend in Pekin High School’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
This musical is all heart, and you’ll be all smiles from the minute the curtain opens. All the vignettes and songs bring to life the characters we’ve grown to love over the years from Peanuts comics and cartoons.
The play, including catchy songs, slapstick comedy, dancing and classic Charlie Brown qualities, revolves around a day in the life of Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown, who is played sweetly and humblely by Seth Jensen, is introduced as he is contemplating the beauty of life — which makes him late for school — his experience with Valentine’s Day, baseball season, his kite and April Fool’s Day, the little red-headed girl ... it’s all there.
Charlie Brown’s sassy little sister Sally, played by Gwynne Wright, fights with a jump rope, an ice cream cone and struggles to find her philosophy on life in the song “My New Philosophy.”
Bossy but lovable Lucy, played by Samantha Wright, sings about her love for Schroeder, made-up facts and gives Charlie Brown psychiatric advice.
The devoted and sentimental Linus, played by Tucker Flinn, dances with his blanket in “My Blanket and Me.”
Thomas Slaney, as Schroeder, commands the stage as he creates a day in honor of his hero Beethoven in “Beethoven Day.”
Krystal Sullivan’s hilarious delivery as Snoopy — she stops the show during “Suppertime” — is frequently kept company by Woodstock, played by Taiylor Morgan, while singing about the simple life of a dog.
The cast is rounded out by Tiana Slaney as Marcie; Hannah Robison as Peppermint Patty; Cade Millikin as Pigpen and Eric Adam as “5.”
“The students have been working extremely hard on this, and we have already had some great support from the surrounding communities,” said Madeline Sloat, Pekin’s new kindergarten- through 12th-grade vocal music teacher, who is one of the directors of the play. “Since the beginning of this year, the gap between Fairfield and Pekin has been shrinking. Parents and directors in the Fairfield community have been helping with set building, costumes, props and moral support.”
The stage crew members are: Rachel Wonderlich, student director; Logan Scholtus, stage manager; Jenna Swanson, assistant student director; Beth Atwood, assistant stage manager; and Garret Bowermaster.
The sound crew is: Petie Clubb, tech manager; Becky Phillips, sound; Matt Jones and Kyle Miller, lights.
The makeup and wardrobe crew is: Maleaha Earnest, head makeup artist; Peyton Atwood, Whitney Horras and Mallory Reed.
Musical accompanist is Linda Mitchelltree.
Darien Sloat and Clint Nelson provided special set and prop construction.
Directors are Madeline Sloat, Jim Eschenbrenner and Amy Degen.
“I’m sure audience members of all ages will find joy in this two-hour production,” said Sloat.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Pekin High School cafetorium; use the building’s main entrance and enter the cafetorium using the first set of doors on the left.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Tena Nelson contributed to this review.