Peanuts on parade: Vail Christian High School presents ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’
Ryan Summerlin April 17, 2013
Never let it be said that Vail Christian High School students don’t make good use of their time.
On the only snow day most of them will get in their lives, some of them spent it wisely and well, rehearsing for this week’s musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
So the question is, did they rehearse until the got it right, or did they rehearse until they can’t get it wrong?
The answer is yes.
It’s all the stuff you love about Peanuts, and if you’re a certain age you know what that is.
Once in a while they have to explain to younger people who these Peanuts characters are.
“If I tell them Snoopy is the beagle in the Met Life ads, they get it,” said Larkin Smith, who plays Lucy.
And what of Lucy?
“When I tell them she’s the girl who pulls the football away from Charlie Brown when he’s trying to kick it, they start laughing,” Smith said. “Then they start to get it.”
A Peanuts primer
If you’re not familiar with the Peanuts comics in general and Charlie Brown in particular, you should do a little cramming. You’ll need to know about Charlie Brown’s baseball career, Lucy Van Pelt’s psychiatry practice, Schroder’s musical skills, Snoopy’s baseball prowess and the Little Red Haired Girl.
You could look it up online, but you’ll be much better served to grab some comic books at your local library.
The musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” goes something like this.
The Peanuts characters all do what they do. Charlie Brown is happy and hopeful; Lucy is sweet on Schroeder who remains aloof as he plans Beethoven’s birthday party. Charlie Brown finally gets his kite to fly before it runs afoul of the notorious Kite Eating Tree; Snoopy becomes a jungle animal.
After all the triumphs and tragedies of a typical day, Charlie Brown realizes that being a good man means trying your best and making the most of the things you’ve been given in life. As his friends leave the stage, Lucy shakes his hand firmly, then tells him, “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.”
The good in all of us
The Vail Christian crew put the show together in almost record time, because it was the time they had, and as we’ve scientifically established, they make good use of their time.
They’re high school kids and they’re busy with spring break, Easter, mission trips, sports, college entrance testing, girls basketball ending and boys basketball making its first trip to the state finals.
And because they’re high school kids, occasionally they make time for each other.
There was a little method acting as they prepared. Gonzalez (Linus) carried his blue blanket around school all week. Sweet had her hair done in curls so much that her teachers started calling her Curly.
Schroeder, as you may recall, is a concert level pianist. Mesch is not, but he makes it look like he is.
Rayla Kundolf is directing the musical.
The cast and crew didn’t know what she had in mind, but knew it would be good.
“It’s a surprise,” joked Parker Poage (Snoopy).
It’s Kundolf’s fourth spring Vail Christian High School production so the kids she started with four years ago as freshmen are now seniors.
This time around it’s an ensemble production, instead of a big musical like last year’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.”
Because they’re an ensemble cast, most of them are on stage most of the time.
“You learn a lot about people, and that’s good,” said Sarah Sweet (Sally).
They said that mostly you learn there’s a little Charlie Brown in all of us, and that he really is a good man.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.