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You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

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Tonight I attended Burke Presbyterian Church's production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I've attended many BPC productions over the years -- my brother is youth minister of the congregation and has an active role in the annual Youth Group plays. My potential misgivings about the subject matter -- I'm never sure who settles on the criteria for such productions, and what makes one play more youth group-relevant than another -- were quickly put to rest by a, frankly, smashing production that found the sweet spot of casting, characters and songs.

I recall reading about the play in Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, and thinking at the time that despite how widely known the play is, I'd never seen it nor could recall having any opportunity to see it.

I have no thoughts on the theological meatiness of the play. I simply found the presentation of the familiar Peanuts gang delightful. I've never considered myself the comic's biggest fan, although I have a soft spot for the televised Christmas special. Funny, then, to have such a strong, emotional reaction to the play. (Emotional in that I laughed often and was touched; not that I wept throughout.) I remember in reading the aforementioned book that I didn't have the same fondness for Peanuts that the author describes among older generations than my own (I'm 41 years old), but I've always found the characters more endearing than less. Now I'm wondering if my increasing age has suddenly softened me, made me appreciate the Peanuts' nuances. Maybe I just liked the songs? They weren't the greatest, but a few of the tunes were quite catchy.

In sum, I was in a decent mood when I arrived to the performance, but the play itself left me in an elevated mood, delighted that I'd finally seen the widely known production and wondering how many others have seen it -- and what they might think. Is it a beloved play? Frowned upon? Help me out. Share your own thoughts about the play's quality, the production you saw, your opinion on Peanuts, etc.

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