Theatre Review: You’re a good man, Charlie Brown

FC drama brings nostalgia to audiences in spring production
The drama team performs the opening musical number.
The drama team performs the opening musical number.
Natalie Garcia

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a classic story following the original comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. On May 2-4, Fresno Christian’s Drama Class brought this production to life with their lively music and dedicated cast members, performing five shows in total. 

The musical shows a glimpse of life through the eyes of the Peanut characters. The play started out with all the characters on the stage, each taking a turn to describe or give their thoughts on Charlie Brown through the song “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” 

As the show progressed, it took the audience through the experiences of the Peanuts gang, including a school book report, a baseball game, and daily interactions with each other. Taking tidbits from the original comic, the play proved to be nostalgic for many audience members. Superintendent Jeremy Brown, explains how watching the musical felt. 

The drama team puts on the production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. (Natalie Garcia)

“As I am older, the fact that they were able to bring Charlie Brown back, to where I was sitting next to first and fifth graders and they were dying laughing, was amazing to see,” Brown said. “The cast, the crew, and everyone else involved did a remarkable job of bringing something that’s 60-70 years old and kept it relevant and fresh. Truly as I get older, it’s awesome to see that older things can still be good.”

Act 1 was phenomenal with every song, skit, and interaction being on point and entertaining. However, as they entered Act 2, Snoopy’s Red Baron scene was difficult to understand. Audience members with no prior knowledge of Snoopy’s story were lost as to what was happening on stage due to the lack of portrayal of a plane chasing Snoopy in the sky. For the storyline and plot, I give the show 4 stars. 

Although the second act wasn’t as seamless as the first, it held the audience’s favorite scene/song of the show, Suppertime. This musical number was performed by K’lanna McArn, 26’, who was cast as Snoopy. McArn used her powerful vocals to serenade the audience with an interactive piece that described her character’s deep profound love for suppertime, a highlight of the show.  

The casting of this show was excellent, especially with a smaller cast size. Each actor embodied their character, elevating the show to a new level. Sophia Adams, ‘24, did an exceptional job portraying Sally Brown. She was able to embody the youngest character in the set, whilst being a senior. Another outstanding performer was Maggie Phanco, who played Lucy. Lucy’s voiceover in the TV series speaks through her nose, giving her character a very nasally and stuck-up sound. Maggie both acted and sang through her nose, embracing her character’s origins. I give the actors’ performances an outstanding 5 stars. 

Bommer Mericle, ’24, and Maggie Phanco, ’25, star as Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt. (Natalie Garcia)

Drama teacher Susan Ainley did a phenomenal job of encouraging her students to bring out the hidden meanings behind the story. The story surrounding Charlie Brown, played by Boomer Mericle, ’24, grappling with feeling unseen. This was relatable to many students today, who feel as if they are just trying to get through the day without stumbling and don’t feel special. This show has a variety of characters who all face different struggles, giving the audience different scenarios they can connect with personally. I give the style and interpretation of the show 5 stars.  

Fresno Christian’s Drama class created and built their own set alongside the help of drama student Maggie Phanco’s father. The set was true to the cartoon, and alone could be determined that it was based on a Charlie Brown setting. However, the set pieces made the fully grown actors seem older than they should have been portrayed. The trees were not much taller than the actors, and the mailbox was exceptionally tall, making an overall disproportionate image to the audience. I rate the set of the production 3.5 stars. 

Peanuts gang celebrates Beethoven’s birthday with a music number. (Natalie Garcia)

The costuming of the cast members was complete perfection as they flawlessly embodied the appearance of the comic characters. From the girls’ boxy dresses with puffy sleeves and flared ends, to the boys’ striped shirts and knee-high socks, the cast had identical representations of their characters. Snoopy is a dog, thus making a costume extremely hard to portray. Regardless, every small detail made a difference in conveying the image of a dog to the audience. McArn had these details present in her costume. From her flapping pigtails representing dog ears to the dog prints drawn on the bottom of her shoes, every detail sold her character that much more. I rate the costumes 5 stars. 

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was heartwarming for many of the viewers and was enjoyed by all. Senior Tryphena Gunawan attended the show and shares her favorite moment of the musical.

“My favorite part from the musical was the fact that it was a musical, ” Gunawan said. “I really liked hearing how the music was integrated into the play. Everything flowed together very nicely and it was definitely very nostalgic.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the musical and found myself many times bobbing my head to the music. Having actors who can both sing and act is a talent, and Fresno Christian’s Drama class did an outstanding overall job.

For more from the Feather, visit Ruby Bakers journeys through creativity or Senior Reflection: Meilani Gilmore Young

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About the Contributor
Sanjay Stephen
Sanjay Stephen, Journalist
First year Feather journalist, Sanjay Stephen is a hard worker who expresses himself through creativity and art. He pushes himself to try new things, like running hurdles for the Track & Field team and exploring the roots of other cultures. His hobby is coordinating events for his friends and community. Stephen's passion is the area of Arts and Entertainment, where he hopes to expand The Feather coverage. 
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