By John Semola
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Mainstage Center for the Arts will be presenting “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Three showings will take place over the weekend of April 29 to May 1 in the Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre at Camden County College.
The musical comedy features characters based on the American classic cartoon strip Peanuts. The original play premiered March 7, 1967 and is officially approved by the cartoon’s creator Charles M. Schulz.
“Everyone already knows the characters. The familiarity allows a wide variety of audiences to enjoy it. The message is simple and happy and is very relatable,” said Joe Fillari, who is planning on directing Charlie Brown at The College of New Jersey. He continued, “Times are tough and everyone needs to be reminded of what it feels like to be a kid again.”
The staying power of this production is displayed in the variety of locations the play has been performed. Just in the tri-state area there have been productions at The College of New Jersey and the University of Delaware. Part of the success could be attributed to the recognition of the characters. Overall, though, the success can be seen as being a result of the quality of the show.
“I went with my younger brother and my grandpop and all three of us left with smiles on our faces,” stated Fillari.
“My mom doesn’t even like Charlie Brown and she enjoyed the play, and that was before I was even in it,” said Johnny Clarke, emphatically. Clarke has performed in past productions of Charlie Brown at the University of Delaware.
Being that he was cast as Snoopy it is not surprising that he stated: “Personally, I love that Snoopy got a chance to express himself in a more vivid manner. I also like that the production involves adults playing children. People should go see ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.’ ”
Shows will be held at the Blackwood Campus of Camden County College in the Dennis Flyer Memorial Theatre, 311 College Drive. Shows will be on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13 for students/senior citizens, $16 for children and $21 for adults. For more information, please call Mainstage Center for the Arts Inc. at 856-227-3091.