Peanuts gang appears on Cromwell stage

Mallory Johnston

Features Editor

The W’s theatre department is bringing back something that has not been done in the department in many years.

This month, the department will be presenting the musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” bringing the characters of the famous “Peanuts” comic strip to life.

“Every year, we have a retreat to talk about what we want to do for the next couple of years. We have a group of students right now who have not done a major musical here. They may have done one in high school or in community college, but not at the college level,” said William “Peppy” Biddy, director of the musical. “It has intricate music. We want each piece to stretch [the actors] a little bit more, so this seemed like an ideal fit.”

During their practice time, the actors got the opportunity to meet with Sheila Walker, a conductor and vocal coach who has worked with names such as Jean Stapleton, Audra McDonald and Carol Channing. She spoke briefly on the elements that turn a musical into the production seen on stage.

“For the musical, you do have, in addition to vocal stuff, you have choral pieces, ensembles, and you have to try to work the character with the voice in order to make it meld together,” said Walker. 

Karen Thead, assistant choreographer, said this musical is for everyone who grew up knowing the Peanuts gang. Thead has high hopes for the production.

“The Peanuts comic is so iconic. There are things [in the musical] that I think everybody can get something from it,” said Thead. “This show is full of music.”

“You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be performed in Cromwell Theatre on Feb. 25-27 at 7 p.m. each day. There will be a matinee on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.