Saturday, November 28, 2015

Review of Emerald City Theatre's A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Broadway Playhouse

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was written by Charles M. Schulz, based on the tv special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. The stage adaptation was by Eric Schaeffer and it was directed by Ernie Nolan with music direction by Austin Cook. It was about Charlie Brown (David Wesley Mitchell), who is a classic young cartoon child with a zig-zag t-shirt, and his friends who are not sometimes great friends, except for Linus (Denzel Love). Charlie Brown is trying to save the Christmas Pageant from disaster so that people won't think that he fails at everything. The play is about friendship, what Christmas means, and people who get depressed around the holidays. I thought this was a perfect recreation of the television show and I found that super cool. I had fun.

The entire show was very much like the TV special. It was almost just like watching the special but with adults playing the kid characters. It might be too similar, which might make you not want to spend money on something you could just watch on TV. I thought they could have put two specials together which would have made it longer. It was very short, which is good for little kids, but for older kids they might want more. It was still fun because I saw it with a friend and it is a fun TV special that was fun to see live. It is cool to see how they adapted it into a play. In a cartoon you can do a lot of not-physically-possible things, but in a play you can't. So they turned Snoopy and Woodstock (co-puppeteers, Isabella Karina Coelho and Micah Kronlokken), who do most of the not-physically-possible stuff, into puppets.

The puppets (designed by Lolly Puppets) were really cool. They looked like three-dimensional versions of the characters. And they moved like the characters too. When Snoopy would just uncontrollably dance at some moments, I thought that was amazing. In fact, everyone in the show moved like the characters. They all had the same dance moves as them and they all moved like them. Snoopy's feet already move like Gangnam Style all the time in short fast steps, because he is a puppet, but the human kids also moved in short fast steps. Woodstock flapped his wings and flew everywhere which I thought was super cool.

My three favorite characters were Sally (Mary-Margaret Roberts), Linus, and Charlie Brown. They have always been my favorite characters. I have always loved Sally. She is so energetic, hilarious, and sassy. She says things she doesn't understand, but still sounds very confident in saying them. Like when she asks Santa for money instead of toys, but she doesn't understand that Santa probably won't bring her a bag full of money. I love her character. And Linus is so learned. The kids who play Linus in the Charlie Brown TV specials, don't actually seem to understand what they are saying. But this made it turn all the way around and made it actually seem like Linus knew what he was saying, which I love. When he was talking about how Jesus was born, he sounded so intelligent and I loved it. And Charlie Brown is the main character in the story, so you kind of believe everyone loves him. And I am one of those people. He has such low energy all the time but, when he has to direct a play, he looked it up somehow so he could do a good job. And that shows how committed and amazing he is. They had the same person that played Elephant in Elephant and Piggie play Charlie Brown. I thought that was a great idea because they are both very pessimistic and adorable and funny.

People who would like this show are people who like Charlie Brown, dancing dogs, and Christmas. I think that people will enjoy this show. It is perfect for little kids and it is fun for families to go to together.

Photos: Austin D. Oie Photography

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