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You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)

Description

Currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary! YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Revised) is a fresh approach to the all-time 1967 classic, based on the beloved comic strip by Charles Schultz. Sally Brown joins Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and Snoopy in this charming revue of vignettes and songs. Two new songs, "Beethoven Day" and "My New Philosophy," have been added to the twelve numbers from the original version, which include "My Blanket and Me," "The Baseball Game," "Little Known Facts," "Suppertime," and "Happiness."

Music samples provided courtesy of Decca Records, MPL Music Publishing and Andrew Lippa

Announcing PERFORMANCE TRACKS, a new and powerful tool for presenting YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Revised) without a live orchestra. Click HERE to learn more.  NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Revised) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

Synopsis

A program note says that the time of the action is “an average day in the life of Charlie Brown.” It really is just that, a day made up of little moments picked from all the days of Charlie Brown, from Valentine’s Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends (both human and non-human) and strung together on the string of a single day, from bright uncertain morning to hopeful starlit evening.

It seems to start off all right. After some brief comments on the nature of his character by his friends, Charlie Brown is swept into their center by a rousing tribute of only slightly qualified praise, in the song “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” He is then left to his own musings as he eats his lunch on the school playground, complicated unbearably by the distant presence of his true love, the “little redheaded girl,” who is always just out of sight.

True love also seems to be the only unmanageable element in Lucy’s solid life, which we discover as we watch her try to bulldoze her way through to her boyfriend’s sensitive, six-year-old musician’s heart, in “Schroeder.” The little scenes then begin to accumulate, and we learn that Lucy’s little brother, Linus, is thoughtful about many things but fanatical when it comes to the matter of his blanket; that Patty is sweet and utterly innocent; and that Charlie Brown’s dog spends much if not most of his time thinking of being something else-a gorilla, a jungle cat, perhaps a handsome trophy or two-but that mostly his life is a pleasant one (“Snoopy”).

The events continue to trickle on. Linus enjoys a private time with his most favorite thing of all (“My Blanket and Me”), Lucy generously bothers to inform him of her ambition-of-the-moment, to become a queen with her own queendom, and then Charlie Brown lurches in for still another bout with his own friendly enemy, “The Kite.”

Valentine’s Day comes and goes with our hero receiving not one single valentine, which brings him to seek the temporary relief of Lucy’s five-cent psychiatry booth (“The Doctor Is In”). We then watch as four of our friends go through their individual struggles with the homework assignment of writing a hundred word essay of Peter Rabbit in “The Book Report.”

Act Two roars in with Snoopy lost in another world atop his dog house. As a World War One flying ace, he does not bring down the infamous Red Baron in today’s battle but we know that someday, someday he will.

The day continues. We learn of the chaotic events of the Very Little League’s “Baseball Game” as Charlie Brown writes the news to his pen pal. Lucy is moved to conduct a personal survey to find out just how crabby she really is, and all the group gathers for a misbegotten rehearsal of a song they are to sing in assembly.

It is “Suppertime,” and Snoopy once more discovers what wild raptures just the mere presence of his full supper dish can send him into. And then it is evening. The gathered friends sing a little about their individual thoughts of “Happiness” and then they go off, leaving Lucy to make a very un-Lucy-like gesture: she tells Charlie Brown what a good man he is.

None of the cast is actually six years old. And they don’t really look like Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoon characters. But this doesn’t seem to make that much difference once we are into the play, because what they are saying to each other is with the openness of that early childhood time, and the obvious fact is that they are all really quite fond of each other.

-Clark Gesner

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE SHOW AND THIS REVISED VERSION?

In 1998 the authors and producers of the original 1967 musical show, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, decided it was time for a major revival of the work in a Broadway theatre. The idiomatic, intimate innocence of the characters that is presented in the original stage production has been maintained, but a new perspective has been added by emphasizing the insatiable insouciance of the characters that was held in check in the original. The new cast of six characters includes Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy and Sally Brown (she replaces Patty.)

The original twelve songs all remain in this version, and two new songs: “Beethoven Day” (Schroeder & Company) and “My New Philosophy” (Sally with Schroeder) have been added. The two melodramas, Lucy’s “Queen Lucy” and Snoopy’s “Red Baron,” retain their spoken dialogue but have completely new underscoring music. The pantomime “Rabbit Chasing” has an entirely new musical score. All the music and dialogue for the show has been reworked; it is not just the same thing with two new songs. All the show’s incidental music, dance music, vocal arrangements and orchestrations are brand new. The signature simple waltz tune (instrumental only, never sung), used to open the original show and as a musical bridge between scenes is the only music from the original that is not used in the revised version. Instead, all of the incidental musical bridge passages now relate to the characters and the principal songs associated with them. And there are 465 more measures of music in this version. The entire show looks and sounds newly minted.

This version has an entirely new sound, musically distinct from the original. It is true theatre chamber music at its most inventive, orchestrated for an ensemble of five players. The orchestrations move the feeling of the work from the intimate parlor setting of the original version, into the more public arena of the theatre proper, while maintaining the basic charm of the original music. Adding bass and percussion to the piano has broadened the rhythmic pulse of the music and sharpened its edge. These instruments also allow room for a more flexible and overtly dramatic underscoring of the staging of the musical numbers. The two solo lines of the orchestration, woodwind and string, bring wonderful shades of color and texture to the sound. The string part is for viola doubling on violin, the wind part is for one player principally doubling flute, clarinet and alto saxophone. All five players double on several instruments which significantly widens the palette of color available in the orchestration. At one point (in Snoopy’s song “Snoopy”) all the players are asked to perform a brief passage on Kazoos!

Because the new songs, new orchestrations, and new vocal and musical arrangements are substantially different from the original, a new Piano-Conductor’s Score has been written and computer-engraved. This new score is complete with all the new vocal arrangements and a piano-reduction of the new accompanying orchestration. It captures the rhythmic vitality of the new orchestrations and all the important melodic lines. This Piano-Conductor’s Score can serve as the only accompanying instrument for both rehearsals and performances when the chamber ensemble is not available. The show may be performed successfully with piano accompaniment only.

Credits

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN

Based on The Comic Strip “Peanuts”
by
Charles M. Schulz

Book, Music and Lyrics
by
Clark Gesner

Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer
Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Original Direction for this version of
“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” by Michael Mayer

Originally Produced in New York by
Arthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson

The above credits shall appear at least as prominently in size and placement of type as other credits, except for the star(s) of the play who may appear above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN
is presented by arrangement with
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

Orchestration

NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Revised) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

Full Orchestration

1 Reed: Flute, Clarinet and Alto Saxophone (also doubling: Piccolo, Soprano Recorder, Soprano Saxophone & optional Kazoo)
1 Violin and Viola
(also doubling: Alto Recorder, Kazoo and Tambourine)
1 Bass: acoustic and electric instruments
(also doubling: Tenor Recorder and Kazoo)
1 Percussion: trap set and mallet instruments
(“Kat” percussion synthesizer)

trap set:
Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Small Tom-Tom
Floor Tom-Tom
Jungle Drums
Hi-Hat Cymbals
Various suspended Cymbals
crash
splash
ride
Wood Block
Cow Bell (2 sizes)
Tambourine (mounted)
Triangle
Slide Whistle
Siren Whistle
Duck Quack
Sandpaper Blocks
Mark Tree
Bell Tree
Kazoo
mallet instruments:
Bells/Glockenspiel
Vibraphone
Xylophone
Chimes
Crotale
Timpani
Triangle
French Horn
Oboe

1 Piano/Partitur in 2 volumes (also doubling Keyboard Synthesizer and Kazoo) [SAMPLE]
(synthesizer registrations include: Celeste, Gospel Organ, Harmonium, Ballpark Organ, Electric Piano, Fender Rhodes, Tremolo Strings, solo Cello, Trumpets and French Horns)

Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

Rehearsal Materials

1       Piano Conductor’s Score
1       Prompt Book with Vocal Parts for Director
6       Prompt Books with Vocal Parts for Cast

Optional Additional Materials

1       Piano Rehearsal CD
1       Performance Tracks CD

NOTE: Authorized performance and rehearsal tracks for YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Revised) are available from The MT Pit. For more information, visit themtpit.com.

Cast List

Principals

(2 female; 4 male)

Sally Brown
Lucy Van Pelt

Snoopy
Schroeder
Charlie Brown
Linus Van Pelt

The original Broadway production had a cast of 6 performers. No doubling was employed. The show has no dedicated chorus.

Brief History

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Revised) was presented on Broadway in 1999 and played for 149 performances at the Ambassador Theatre with award-winning performances by Roger Bart and Kristin Chenoweth as Snoopy and Sally. Originally, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN opened on March 7, 1967 and played for 1,597 performances in New York at the theatre 80 St. Marks with Gary Burghoff in the title role. That version was revived on Broadway in 1971 and played for 32 performances at the John Golden Theatre.

Awards (1999)

2 Tony Awards for Featured Actress and Featured Actor
3 Drama Desk Awards for Revival, Featured Actress and Featured Actor