ABOUT THE MUSICAL

YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN is a 1967 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schultz in his comic strip Peanuts

SYNOPSIS: 

Charlie Brown and the rest of the friends battle with kites, school, baseball and misunderstandings before finally coming to realize what makes them truly happy. A charming revue of vignettes and songs, spanning the months from Valentine’s Day to Beethoven Day from wild optimism to utter despair.

In this revised version, with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and dialogue by Michael Mayer, the sweet, joyful innocence of the Peanuts gang is maintained, but a fresh insouciance and playfulness is revealed.

The new script features two new songs, particularly funny dialogue, and new, catchy orchestrations. 


 

CASTING: 

Character Breakdown

(Actors don't have to be the actual age of the character. The ages are there to help you figure out how to act like the character.)

Charlie Brown - Age 8 (male)

​The sometimes optimistic, sometimes self-deprecatory main character. The show is a day in the life of Charlie Brown. A loveable loser, his main characteristics are either self-defeating stubbornness or admirable determined persistence to try his best against all odds. He can never win a ballgame, but continues playing baseball; he can never fly a kite successfully, but continues trying to do so. 

Dominated by insecurities, this lovable blockhead is affable, humble but smart and vulnerable. 

Strong singing and acting skills. 

bari-tenor who can speak/sing fast and memorize well - B-flat2 to F4.

Audition Song – “The Kite”

Callback Song – “The Baseball Game”

Sally Brown - Age 6 (Female)

A highly articulate, charismatic, lovable, sometimes eccentric and argumentative younger sister to Charlie Brown. Despite being portrayed as innocent and adorable, she is noticeably intelligent for her age. She is absurdly intense, balancing angst with innocence, sweet but a skeptic. She has a crush on Linus.

Strong singing and acting skills. 

soprano/mezzo belt - B3 to A-flat5.

Audition Song – “My New Philosophy”

Callback Song – “Happiness” (Bows)

Linus Van Pelt - Age 6 (Male or Female)

The thumb-sucking, blanket-dependent younger brother to Lucy - and Charlie Brown's best friend. Though young, he is the most educated character in the bunch. He is unusually smart and he acts as the show’s philosopher. Despite his mature vocabulary, juvenile aspects of his character are also displayed; for example, Linus is almost always depicted holding his blue security blanket and often sucking his thumb. Acutely sensitive with brains and warmth, although he is the second youngest in the group he is the most mature. 

Strong singing, acting, and soft shoe or tap experience would be great. must have the ability to dance or move well; 

 baritone/tenor - B-flat2 to E4.

Audition Song – “My Blanket and Me”

Callback Song – “Happiness” (Bows)

 

 

Lucy Van Pelt - Age 8 (Female)

The crabby, opinionated, manipulative, self-important older sister to Linus who bosses Charlie Brown around and perpetually offers arm-chair psychiatric advice for her rate of five cents. This actress will have dimension in her performance - she will have the ability to be a brute but also allow her compassion to shine when necessary. She is actually a friend to Charlie Brown and is constantly looking for ways to help him and Linus, though she is often misguided and pushy in her attempts to help. She has a strong, unrequited crush on Schroeder.

A strong-willed comedian with a great sense of timing.

Strong actress and belter. 

mezzo/alto belt - G3 to Fsharp5.

Audition Song - “Schroeder”

Callback Song - “Little Known Facts”

Snoopy (Male or Female)

Charlie Brown’s dog. A clownish, vaudevillian scene stealer who can really “sell it.” Snoopy is more human-like than dog. His character is that of a dog who pretends to be a person (or who sometimes forgets he is a dog). He can dance circles around everyone else. He is smart, wise-cracking, and joyous. This role is physically demanding both in innovation and execution. 

Actor who can portray a dog, physicality a must.

Strong comedic timing and musical theatre style dance required. Possible female role, but must fit vocal range.

Tenor/baritone - C3-A4.

Audition Song – “Snoopy”

Callback Song – “Suppertime”

 

Schroeder - Age 8 (Male or Female)

A friend to Charlie Brown, he is distinguished by his precocious skill at playing the toy piano, as well as by his love of classical music and the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. He is Lucy’s love interest but he could care less about her. His love is Beethoven and he is very serious about his musical hobby. That said, he comes out and shines in his one number, “Beethoven Day,” which can be a show stopper. 

Strong acting and singing skills. 

Audition Song – “Beethoven Day”

Callback Song – “Book Report”

Ability to play piano a plus, not mandatory; high baritone/tenor, B-flat2 to A-flat4.

 

Ensemble - see roles below

4 to 10 male and female singer/dancer ensemble roles who will likely take on the looks and mannerisms of the other Peanuts characters. 

Various vocal ranges. 

Audition Song – “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

Callback Song – “Happiness” (Bows)

Woodstock

Small but scrappy, Woodstock has a big presence for a little bird! She’s a tad inept, flittering around in erratic fashion, often upside down, and frequently crashing into things. She is Snoopy’s closest friend and confident, and is always game for jumping into any of his fantastical daydreams. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Woodstock

Peppermint Patty

Peppermint Patty has a unique spirit. Tough, but kind. A bad student (probably due to her tendency to sleep through class!) she has a habit of profoundly misunderstanding basic concepts and ideas, making it easy for the others to prey on her lack of sense. A freckle-faced tomboy who loves Charlie Brown; calls him 'Chuck'; leader of a baseball team and one of Charlie Brown's rival managers.  http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Peppermint_Patty

Marcie

The bespectacled hanger-on to Peppermint Patty, Marcie is Patty’s opposite in many ways.  calls her "Sir". Though naïve and gullible, she is also under a great deal of pressure from her parents to excel in school, and thus her schoolwork is of a very advanced nature. A mild-mannered and bookish girl; secretly likes Charlie Brown. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Marcie

Pig Pen

Best-known for the cloud of dirt and dust that follows wherever he goes, Pig Pen has learned that there’s simply no point in trying to wash it off! Rather than getting upset or frazzled, he handles jibes about his hygiene with humor, letting them just roll off his back. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/%22Pig-Pen%22

The Little Red-Haired Girl

The object of Charlie Brown’s crush. She likes being admired, which is probably why she never actually speaks to him – thinking that if he really knew her he might not like her as much as he likes the dream of her from afar. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Little_Red-Haired_Girl

Franklin

African-American, was initially bemused by the strange things in Charlie Brown's neighborhood; has smarts comparable to Linus; plays on Peppermint Patty's baseball team. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Franklin

 

Rerun - Younger brother of Linus and Lucy; frequently rides on the back of his mother's bicycle; often takes his siblings' places and roles. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Rerun_van_Pelt

Peggy Jean

Lucy’s best friend, Peggy Jean backs Lucy up any chance she gets, in an effort to keep on Lucy’s good side - safe in the company of the most powerful kid on the block. She’s a little bit afraid of standing on her own two feet, but can be strong and harsh at Lucy’s side. She shares songs with Lucy. Charlie Brown's girlfriend in the 1990s after the Little Red-Haired Girlhttp://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Peggy_Jean

Eudora

Sally's best friend; a girl she met at a camp who then moved down the street. described as even ditzier than Sally, Eudora has been known to go to school on Saturdays! She has a favorite knitted hat, and shares a lot with Sally.  http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Eudora

Violet

Violet is Patty and Lucy's best friend. Perhaps a stereotypical rich kid, she places a lot of importance on her father’s wealth and status, never missing a chance to remind the others that she is in a higher social class. a mean and snobby girl; served as an early love interest of Charlie Brown. http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Violet_Gray

Shermy

Shermy is a bit of a foil to Charlie Brown - superior at the things that mattered to Charlie Brown, especially athletics. Shermy's major physical characteristic was his short, dark hair, which he usually wore in a crew cut.  http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Shermy

Frieda

though generally goodhearted, Frieda’s preoccupation with appearances reveals a more complicated side of her nature. She wants to be admired for her conversational skills (which the others see as chatterbox- ness) and for her "naturally curly hair,” which she always manages to mention! http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/Frieda

MUSICAL NUMBERS

CHARLIE BROWN

The Kite

The Doctor is In

The Book Report

T-E-A-M (The Baseball Game)

Little Known Facts

LUCY

Schroeder (sung over Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata")

The Doctor is In

Little Known Facts

LINUS 

My Blanket and Me

The Book Report

Little Known Facts

SNOOPY 

Suppertime

Snoopy 

 

SCHROEDER 

Beethoven Day

My New Philosophy

SALLY 

My New Philosophy

COMPANY

Opening/You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

My Blanket and Me

The Kite

Beethoven Day

The Book Report (two featured actors singing Lucy and Schroeder's parts)

T-E-A-M (The Baseball Game)

Happiness

​​

ADDITIONAL FACTS

SHOW HISTORY

 

Productions

Original Production

On March 7, 1967, the musical premiered off-Broadway at Theatre 80 in the East Village, featuring Gary Burghoff as Charlie Brown, Skip Hinnant as Schroeder, Reva Rose as Lucy, Bob Balaban as Linus, Karen Johnson as Patty (an early Peanuts character not to be confused with Peppermint Patty), and Bill Hinnant as Snoopy.  This production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown lasted 1,597 performances, closing on February 14, 1971.

 

Broadway

A Broadway production opened at the John Golden Theatre on June 1, 1971, and closed on June 27, 1971, after 32 performances and 15 previews. Directed by Joseph Hardy and with choreography by Patricia Birch, the new cast consisted of Carter Cole as Schroeder, Grant Cowan as Snoopy, Stephen Fenning as Linus, Liz O'Neal as Lucy, Dean Stolber as Charlie Brown, and Lee Wilson as Patty.

 

1998 U.S. tour and 1999 Broadway revival

A U.S. tour began on November 18, 1998, in Skokie, Illinois. This revival opened on February 4, 1999, and closed on June 13, 1999, having played only 14 previews and 149 performances.  The cast featured Anthony Rapp as Charlie Brown, B.D. Wong as Linus, Ilana Levine as Lucy, and Stanley Wayne Mathis as Schroeder. Also featured were Kristin Chenoweth and Roger Bart as Sally and Snoopy, with each winning the Tony award in the respective category. The revival closed on Broadway one week later.

 

2016 Off-Broadway revival

In 2016 it had been announced that there was going to an off-Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, using some of the young stars of Broadway. The six-member “Peanuts” gang featured Joshua Colley as Charlie Brown, Gregory Diaz as Schroeder, Aidan Gemme as Snoopy, Milly Shapiro as Sally, Mavis Simpson-Ernst as Lucy, and Jeremy T. Villas as Linus. Graydon Peter Yosowitz played the role of Charlie Brown from June 1-7. The show ran from May 24 – June 26, 2016.

Trivia

  • The off-Broadway production was well received, with The Village Voice praising the simplistic set and "strikingly talented" cast. Walter Kerr in The New York Times called the show "a miracle", saying, "almost everything works, because almost everything is effortless."

  • In the revival, the character of Patty was replaced with Sally Brown (played by Kristin Chenoweth).

  • Articles about the 1999 revision while it was in previews noted that the one difference between the original production and the 1999 version was that the latter reflected the increased ethnic diversity of casting over the decades that had passed, with Schroeder being played by an African American actor (Mathis) and Linus by an Asian American (Wong).

 

Other Resources

 

We highly recommend that you watch an entire stage production and familiarize yourself with the Broadway soundtrack. 

© 2017 by Academy for Children's Theatre
 

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