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There’s something about Charlie…

The cast of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, now playing at the Hanesbrands Theatre. (courtesy photo)

If you’re like me, and have a soft spot for the funny, bumbling, attimes painful yet always endearing antics of Charlie Brown andhis friends, you won’t want to miss No Rules Theatre Company’sdelightful production of an updated version of the 1967 musicalYou’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.With a talented cast and a host of amusing songs, You’re a Good ManCharlie Brown appeals to a broad age range. It is a lighthearted musicalwith lots and lots of laughs and just the right amount of pathos. Childrenand adults giggle with glee at the antics of Snoopy and the gang and waitwith bated breath and crossed fi ngers to see if this time, oh please let itbe this time, Charlie Brown will fi nally hit that ball and win the baseballgame. Augie Praley plays Charlie Brown with just the right amount ofawkwardness, melting hearts with his constant struggles with the trialsand tribulations of childhood. Carolyn Cole as Lucy van Pelt manages tosteal every scene she’s in, playing Lucy’s queen-sized ego to perfection.Schroeder, played with energy and enthusiasm by Sean Maurice Lynch,provides just the right amount of entertaining seriousness to this youngmusician. In one of the harder roles, Joshua Morgan manages to conveythe inherent confl ict in Linus, a philosopher in a child’s body, who iswise beyond his years yet still sucks his thumb and carries around a blanket.Kristen Graffo portrays Charlie Brown’s younger sister Sally with anenthusiasm and innocence that is a delight. And last but certainly not theleast, Chris French as Snoopy is masterful. Wearing human clothes as hiscostume, French is able to make us believe he is a dog, and not just anydog, but in fact the iconic Snoopy. French, and indeed the entire cast, areadept at physical comedy. They can sing, they can dance and they canfi re off one-liners with ease. All the ingredients are in place to make thisshow a success. I would be remiss not to mention the set. Surprisingly simple, withpictures and images from the original Charles Schulz comic strip, RyanWineinger has created a set that can be manipulated and moved about tocreate different settings and confi gurations for the different scenes. It isthe perfect backdrop to a musical about Charlie Brown and his friends,which like the comic strip on which it is based, is a deceptively simple,delightfully amusing yet wise commentary on what it is like to be achild. You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is directed by Matt Cowart and isthe fi rst Winston-Salem production for the No Rules Theatre Company(NRTC). NRTC is based in Washington DC and Winston-Salem. Formore information visit norulestheatre.org.

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