You probably grew up knowing Snoopy and the rest of the gang, which Charles Schulz had immortalized in his internationally known comic strip Peanuts. For more than five decades, people had been reading quick-witted dialogues and satirical exchanges between Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Shroeder, and Sally that it feels like you’re part of the group at one point or another. But this time, avid reader or not, Charlie Brown finally let the world know about how depressing it can be on his shoes amid being in the colorful world that he’s in. The popular, Tony Award-winning, comedy musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is finally staged in Manila through the efforts of 9 Works Theatrical that opened on Saturday February 11 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza, along Ayala Avenue in Makati City.
Get to sympathize with dear ol’ Charlie played by Robbie Guevara as he recounts everyday occurrences in his life that depresses him like not being able to play a kite, being the only person who doesn’t receive a Valentine card, or even the fact that Snoopy only likes him because he feeds the well-loved white and black dog. Listen and be entertained as the Charlie’s list of woes goes on and on and get inspired on how he gets to cope with it the best he can. Together with commendable actors in the local theatre scene Carla Guevara-Laforteza as the vain and crabby Lucy, Franco Laurel as the blanket loving studious Linus, Tonipet Gaba as the musically-talented Schroeder, Sweet Plantado-Tiongson as funny and quirky Sally, and Lorenz Martinez as the forever loved pet Snoopy, You’re a Good Manwas able to bring to life the humor that reminds everyone of mundane things that can make a person happy or sad.
Just like in the comic strip each character was able to tackle mature themes in a much simpler tone making the audience laugh in the everyday comical life occurrence that they just overlook.
Directed by Michael Williams along with assistant director Toff de Venecia, musical director for instrumentation Joseph Tolentino, musical director for vocals Sweet Plantado-Tiongson, choreographer Deana Aquino, scenographer Mio Infante, lighting designer Martin Esteva, sound designer Chuck Ledesma, costume designers Mio Infante and Twinkle Zamora, photographer Richard Lazaro, and graphic designer Larry Palma delivers a performance you’ve always dreamed that a local artistic team will come up with. The whole musical has showcased each actor’s talent while staying true to their characters.
“I know that I don’t only speak for myself — in fact most, if not all, who are involved in this production will agree with me — but doing a local version of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown has always been one of my dreams,” executive producer Santi Sta. Maria expressed in one interview. “It’s just one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do, my little contribution to the local theater scene.”
Each of the cast finds his own reason to play their character and similarities to making it more enjoyable for them to portray their roles. “The material is very witty and requires a lot of comic timing from the actor,” Franco said regarding his characterization of Linus.
“The challenge for me is to find the balance between caricature and reality so that I can bring out the truth in what I’m doing even if from the perspective of a child.”
Overall, the audience enjoyed the performance as everyone made sure there was never a dull moment. The backdrop depicts the colorful cartoonish world that the Peanuts casts are in and they definitely woke up the ‘child’ in everyone with their stellar singing and dancing performances.
Friday shows are at 8 p.m,, Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.
A limited number of performances are now available for fundraising and block-buying. For tickets and other inquiries, call (632) 557-5860, 586-7105 or +639175545560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.