Theater Review: Main Street Players presents ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” played at the Main Street Players of Boone County in Belvidere, Ill. “Working with a charming and talented cast, there is not a dull moment, and musically it could not be better,” wrote reviewer Edith McCauley. (Photo by Curt Newport, Performance Photography)

By Edith McCauley
Theater Critic

Charles M. Schulz’s charming comic strip “Peanuts” has become a significant part of our culture. Over the years, it has run in newspapers throughout the country, evolving into holiday specials on television, and by 1967 it became an off-Broadway musical production starring Gary Burghoff as Charlie Brown. In 1999, it played on Broadway and has become a favorite of amateur audiences.

Main Street Players’ production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, is directed by Timothy Curtis, an experienced actor and director. He has staged this musical perfectly. Working with a charming and talented cast, there is not a dull moment, and musically it could not be better.

Starring as Charlie Brown, Thomas Luna personifies the awkward but well-meaning youngster as we best remember him. Of course, his antithesis is Lucy. Jessica Brady is there every moment to recreate her character from holding the football for Charlie’s place kick to becoming the neighborhood psychologist. Aaron Gomez as Linus carries his security blanket, and in a clever musical number, “My Blanket and Me,” performs with the entire company.

Ana Paruzynski is curly-haired Sally, Charlie’s sister. She deals constantly with the unfairness of life. As Schroeder, Julia Whitcomb plays her imaginary piano to perfection. It is her first Main Street production, and she is looking forward to pursuing a career in theater.

Of course, we all adore Snoopy, who is played by Michael Neumann. He sings beautifully and has already worked with Tony-nominated director/choreographer Patricia Birch on her new musical, Orphan Train.

Musically supporting this fine cast is Musical Director Betsy Semple. She has worked for years with Woodstock Musical Theatre Company and also teaches voice and acting in Marengo. Deb Swinford choreographs. The dance and movement of the company reflect her exceptional talent.

Main Street Players is celebrating 18 years of live theater in Belvidere. For further information concerning the company and upcoming shows, contact Main Street Players, P.O. Box 1234, Belvidere, IL 61008.

From the May 22-28, 2013, issue

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