Based on the Comic Strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz
Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner with Additional Material by Andrew Lippa
Directed by Michael Unger with Music Direction by Eric Svejcar
Preview by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director; Evans Haile, Interim Executive Director), dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, in association with Van Dean and Sister Productions, will present the hit musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” with book, music and lyrics by and additional material by Andrew Lippa, directed by York’s Associate Artistic Director Michael Unger with music direction by Eric Svejcar. Performances are set to begin Tuesday, May 24, 2016 for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 26, 2016 at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). Opening Night is Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Cast and creative team will be announced shortly.
“This production is based on a concert that was presented at Feinstein’s/54 Below by Van Dean of Broadway Records and Jennifer Tepper,” said James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director at The York Theatre Company. “In that concert, there were kids from “Matilda,” “Evita,” “Finding Neverland,” “Newsies” – many of whom will be a part of this production. The York Theatre Company, along with our associate producers, is in the process of putting together a cast of young professional children for this exciting new production which will combine the toy-piano simplicity of the original 1967 Off-Broadway version with additions from the 1999 Broadway revival.”
Children of all ages will learn that “Happiness is” the simple joy of ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and the familiar characters of the “Peanuts” gang: good ol’ Charlie Brown, long-suffering but ever-lovable; piano-playing Schroeder, aloof and existential; blanket-dependent Linus; Lucy, bossy and dangerous when allowed near a football; Sally, the pouty little pragmatist; the crush-worthy (albeit offstage) Little Red-Headed Girl; and, of course, the huggable, hungry beagle Snoopy.
Clark Gesner had a long association with The York Theatre Company, including the mainstage production of his musical “The Jello is Always Red” in 1998. “I first met Clark 15 years ago at Princeton University when he was a trustee and I was directing the Triangle Club Show,” shared director Michael Unger. “I then had the pleasure of directing him in a production of Molière’s “School for Wives” at Vermont’s Weston Playhouse. I know he would be in favor of presenting his show with top-caliber, young performers. He was the most charming, eternally youthful man you could ever hope to meet — an amalgam of the finest traits of all the show’s characters. This delightful classic will be told through fresh, youthful eyes and voices—with an authority only possible from performers close in age to the characters they are portraying.”