Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd

A Really Good Show at Pollard Theatre with “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

Ellie Valdez as Lucy analyzes Tyler Clark as Charlie Brown in the great Peanuts show “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” Photo courtesy of Jared Blount

The last half of the 20th century was filled with iconic moments and the baby boomer generation ruled society.  Charles M. Schultz created the Peanuts Comic Strip in 1950 and everyone was hooked.  The adventures of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally and Snoopy were an integral part of baby boomer identity development and these characters have reflected the childhood of every generation since.   In 1967 Clark Gesner and John Gordon created “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” bringing these beloved characters to the stage.

The Pollard Theatre is back with “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” a wonderful beginning to theatre after the pandemic.  The show brings together a cast of six endearingly childlike characters under the expert direction of Timothy Stewart.  Assisting Stewart is Michael Stafford in music direction and Joshua McGowen, stage manager.  The lighting is designed by Michael Long and the sound is by Jared Blount.  Costumes are from Michael James and Properties are due to the efforts of Kris Schinske Wolfe and Jessa Schinske.  The set design is a collaboration between Jared Blount and Michael Long.

The ensemble cast of six is headed by Tyler Clark as Charlie Brown.  Full of angst and childhood insecurities, many of us have experienced Charlie Brown days…the day’s when everything goes wrong…and everyone else thinks it’s funny.  It is funny and we loved Charlie Brown.  Clark brings that love to fruition with his characterization.  Remember how Linus held onto his blanket and refused to grow up even while exhibiting a profound education?  Cam Taylor is exactly the perfect Linus in every way.  Lucy.  There was a Lucy in every school. What a character she is!  Ellie Valdez pinpoints the diabolical ideas and plans Lucy comes up with ideal expressiveness.  Erin Heatly is Sally.  Mischievous and delightful Sally is the little girl of our hearts and Heatly brings Sally to life.  Schroeder is played by Jared Blount with excellent visuals.  Huddled over the piano the Beethoven fan is a hilarious combination of genius and little boy.

The cast of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” Pictured from left are Ellie Valdez as Lucy, Cam Taylor as Linus (with his blanket) Tyler Clark as Charlie Brown Kristen Küns as Snoopy (on all fours) Erin Heatly as Sally  and Jared Blount as Schroeder Photo courtesy of Jared Blount

Universally, a favorite character is Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s little dog.  Snoopy is a full-fledged member of the gang with human desires and frailties, but first and foremost, a cute little dog with a rollicking imagination.  Kristin Küns absolutely nails the role and is a tail wagging delight.

Under Stewart’s expert direction are 6 superb performers and an excellent technical crew.  Joshua McGowen is a connected stage manager, working with Michael Long in lighting and Destiny Mack on lights with Lisa Mack on spotlight.  Larz Justice works with sound designer Jared Blount on the sound board and Jake Schrimsher is handling the fly rail.  Stef Fortney is on the left deck hanger while Emma Cook is on the right.  These dedicated technicians are a large and often underappreciated component to any production and should be applauded.

Stewart’s direction brings out the child in every actor and every actor brings out the simplicity of childhood and the nostalgic memories are warm and fuzzy.  “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”  plays May 5 through May 22, 2022 and the curtain goes up at 8:00 PM.  Additionally there is a 2:00 PM Sunday Matinee.  For further information and tickets visit www.thepollard.org or call the Pollard at   405-282-2800 for a wonderful evening of family entertainment!

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