U of R students involved in musical production of Charlie Brown
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Schumiatcher Theatre, MacKenzie Art Gallery
7:30 p.m.; 2 p.m. Sunday
$15 for students
Two students from the University of Regina are taking part in a musical that is bringing a beloved classic comic strip to life.
Regina Lyric Musical Theatre is producing the off-Broadway Musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Nathan Sgrazzutti, a second-year acting major, and Caitlin Bolduc-Whelan, a first-year fine arts student, play two characters in the show based on the cartoon strip created by Charles M. Schultz.
“I have my blanket, always,” said Sgrazzutti, who plays Linus. Sgrazzutti said the musical stays true to the cartoon, especially to the characters.
“[Sally] is a lot of fun to play with,” said Bolduc-Whelan, who plays Sally Brown in the production. “[She must] be very eccentric all the time.”
But because the performance is so true to the original cartoon strip, both performers noted that the musical requires some effort in order to bring an animated world to life.
“[The play] needs high energy; it keeps you on your toes,” Bolduc-Whelan said. “It’s fun to do and watch. It’s something everyone can enjoy.”.
“There’s no real standing around scenes. Everything is quick fire; it’s all moving,” Sgrazzutti.said “It really encompasses a day in Charlie Brown’s life, which is very interesting.”
During that day in Charlie Brown’s life, the Peanuts gang get into its usual hijinks. Charlie Brown worries about what it means to be a “good man”, Lucy psychoanalyses her friends and life, and Snoopy dreams on top of his doghouse.
Originally an off-Broadway production, the musical is quite different from an average theatre show.
The characters are based on personalities that first came to life on a piece of paper. Bolduc-Whelan said when playing the beloved characters, the performers must “overdramatize everything” to round out the literal two-dimensionality of the cartoon strip characters.
“Charlie Brown is built off of the idea of a little cartoon strip, so the scenes are really short, very witty,” Sgrazzutti said. “One liners are everywhere; [the show is] very comedic. It is just a very childish style of cast which is important to the show. [It] makes it believable in its un-believability.”
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is also different from the plays performed at the U of R. Sgrazzutti, who serves as vice-president of the Theatre Students’ Association and publicist for the U of R theatre department, while being involved in theatre since high school, knows the difference between a U of R production and a community theatre show.
“A part of the reason why we choose certain shows at the U of R is for the experience for the performers themselves is the learning experience,” Sgrazutti said. “Community shows are chosen for their entertainment factor.”
“It’s important to show theatre and showcase talent [in the community]. People do [community theatre] because they love it and people want to be there,” said Bolduc-Whelan, who has been involved in theatre for the past 10 years.
The performers encourage other students to come out and see the production. Many students might find similarities between this comic-strip-turned-musical and their own lives.
“Charlie Brown is a time piece, it’s amazing. It’s continuous, it’s always growing. It has a story, and writing a musical about Charlie Brown is the greatest idea anyone ever had,” Sgrazutti said. “People need to laugh at the problems that these little children have in their day-to-day lives that are not very different from the problems that people have in their normal lives.”