The set by David Sherrill was minimal, but was exactly what this show called for. Robert Dirden should be commended for his costuming.
It begins with the announcement that Snoopy has died. I know. It upset me too. Charlie Brown (now called CB) is more confused about life than ever having had Snoopy put to sleep after his beloved beagle was infected with rabies. CB's sister (Sally) is in search for her identity...currently a Wiccan performance artist. Van (aka Linus) has traded one crutch for another....his blanket for pot. Matt (Pig Pen) has become a neat freak, testosterone-charged homophobe bully. Peppermint Patty and her side-kick have transformed into Tricia and Marcy and they drink vodka in their milk in the cafeteria, gossip, sleep around, and trash other students. Van's sister (Lucy) has been incarcerated for being a pyromaniac. Beethoven (Schroeder) has suffered childhood sexual abuse by his father and is the target of bully abuse led by Matt.
CB (Justin Habban) is a natural in his role and makes you believe he's Charlie Brown as a teenager suffering the angst of trying to figure out who and what he is. Magnificent performance. CB's sister (Lori Nierzwick) was a delight as Sally....spunky, funny, and even sounded as you believe Sally would. David Rolando is amusing as a drugged-out but philosophical Van with flashes of brilliance. Derek Grabner has a psycho energy to his performance as Matt which was quite compelling, even frightening at times.
Liz Bancroft (Tricia) and Dallyn Brunck (Marcy) were absolutely outrageously funny as the two perpetually drunk slutty girlfriends who were constantly dissing the denizens at the other cafeteria tables. Van's sister (Breanna Lange) brings a real spark and a naturalness to her performance as the Lithium-addled fire-starting sister.
Beethoven (TylerSarkis) was all raw nerves and the audience could feel his pain through his performance. Ironically, and perhaps fortuitously this show echoes the daily news and the anti-bullying campaigns we hear about daily on the television and news broadcasts. There is a good message to be learned from this play. It is amusing, but very poignant. The language, of course, is very un-Schulzlike, but the language is appropriate for contemporary high school students ..........and much is quite funny.
Art & Soul by Phoebe LLC
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