Reviewed by Joan Tupponce
Charlie Brown and the gang from the Peanuts comic strip are so much a part of our lives that they feel like family. That’s why it feels great to have Virginia Rep bring those characters to life in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, now playing at Barksdale theater.
Anyone familiar with the iconic comic strip knows the personalities of Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Sally, and Snoopy and how they interconnect. We know that Lucy will always make fun of Charlie Brown; Schroeder will always play the piano; Linus will always cling to his blanket; and Sally will always be the girl that just wants to have fun. And then there’s Snoopy whose imagination leads him on some truly awesome adventures.
Because all are etched into our minds so vividly it’s extremely important that anyone playing the roles capture the very essence of these beloved characters. And this production does just that. The six actors on stage bring the comic strip to life with so much energy and fun that you can’t help but smile throughout the two-hour production.
Catherine Walker is absolutely charming as Charlie Brown’s younger sister, Sally. Her interpretation of the character is light and breezy. Durron Tyre thoroughly entertains as the piano obsessed Schroeder. His facial expressions are priceless when Lucy tries to turn on the romance. Brent Gallahan skillfully taps into Linus’ depth as well as his dependence on his faithful blanket, giving us a well-rounded picture of Charlie Brown’s best friend.
Jeff Sundheim is an absolute hoot as America’s favorite dog Snoopy. He is a charming canine with attitude. He and Walker steal the spotlight when they let their imaginations run wild during a play date.
Aly Wepplo completely nails Lucy’s devilish delight in making Charlie Brown squirm. She stomps, struts, and saunters around the stage with a comfortable ease. David Janeski is the epitome of Charlie Brown. He has the look, the attitude, and the anxiety down perfectly.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is a well-deserved treat after a long, cold winter. It’s great for the entire family. The show runs through April 17 at Hanover Tavern. Click here for showtimes, tickets, and discounts.