PITTSBURG — More than 1,200 students filed into Memorial Auditorium to watch Pittsburg Community Theatre’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
The whole gang was there, Lucy, played by McKenna Shaw, Schroeder, played by Matt Buck, Sally, played by Michaela West, Linus, played by Aidan Harries and of course Snoopy, played by Kevin McNay and “blockhead,” himself, Charlie Brown, played by Mason Bayliss.
Other characters included the comic strip's first African-American, Franklin, and the quiet bookworm, Marcie.
Charlie Brown woke up to a bright sunny day, “how can anything go wrong on a day like this?” he thought out loud. Well, things did start going wrong for Charlie, he was late for the bus and he didn’t have the courage to ask the “the Little Red-haired Girl” to sit with him.
The students in the crowd laughed as Charlie mustered the courage to talk to her and then sat back down after rethinking his choice. All day he was worried and constantly bombarded by “questions in his ear.”
His friends, blanket toting Linus, bossy Lucy, piano-playing Schroeder and his perfectionist sister Sally are also dealing with their own battles. Their personalities shined through each character’s walk, Charlie walked with rolled shoulders and his head down and Lucy with her chest up and tight fisted.
He watched them all make silly choices, including Snoopy, who believes supper time should be celebrated with entertainment, eliciting laughter from children all across the auditorium.
Laughter and clapping filled the room from other humorous scenes, such as when Linus tango danced with his beloved blanket, Sally and Snoopy tried catching rabbits and when Lucy finds out she’s a grumpy person — who knew?
In the scene when the cast sang “Home on the Range,” the children in the audience chimed in, making some of the adults chuckle.
Winfield Scott Elementary School First Grade Teacher Maggie Thompson said she was happy to have the opportunity to bring her students to the play.
“This is an experience the kids wouldn’t get otherwise,” she said. “There is a good mix of culture in our area for them to learn.”
Seventh grader from Altamont Grade School Justin McElhaney applauded the cast for its good acting and humor.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It was funny and they did really good changing the voice to make them like the characters.”
Despite Charlie’s day going awry with being late for the bus, being too shy and his silly friends, the day wasn’t what it seemed, “your happiness is anyone and anything at all that is loved by you,” Charlie and the cast sang — you’re a good man Charlie Brown.
Want to see the show?
The show is appropriate for all ages. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. March 9-10, and at 2 p.m. on March 10-11. Tickets may be purchased at www.memorialauditorium.org or by calling the box office during business hours at 620-231-7827, or at the door an hour prior to each show, based on availability. Tickets are $12 for adults in reserved seating on the main floor, or $10 for seniors/children. Balcony general admission tickets are $8. The show is directed by Greg Shaw.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter @pittstephpotter.