R2P – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the State Theatre

by imageguy

On May 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, Running To Places, Ithaca’s amazing youth theatre company, presented “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” at Ithaca’s State Theatre. With only a small cast of six incredibly talented young performers, they offered up a load of entertainment, bringing to life the comical characters of the Peanuts comic strip.

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Galen Gibian played the lovable but always frustrated Charlie Brown. Whether struggling to get his kite off the ground, managing the ever losing baseball team, or obsessing over that little red-haired girl, Charlie’s failures continue to plague him through the show. Taunted constantly by Lucy, played by Sophie Potter, Charlie just can’t get a break. I have to say I could really see Lucy’s character come to life when Sophie would clench her fists by her side, throw her head back and yell AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!

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Linus clutched his blanket tightly, explaining philosophically how important it is for a child to have something to hold on to for security. Wonderfully played by Marcel Merwin, Linus danced with animated blankets in a really sweet number choreographed by Todd Peterson, who does such an amazing job throughout the show with all of these talented kids.

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Shroeder, played by Elias Spector-Zabusky, did his best to ignore the amorous rantings of Lucy, quizzed Sally on her frustrations with jump ropes, and gave a great performance with Beethoven’s Birthday. Elias is a veteran of numerous R2P productions and never fails to entertain.

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Another veteran performer, like Elias and Marcel, is the ever popular and totally captivating Kasia Sendek, who played Charlie’s little sister, Sally. Every time I see Kasia perform, I am just blown away. Whether she is singing, dancing, or just stealing our hearts, she is a show stopper every time. Her monologue about her “C” in coat hanger sculpture is one for the scrapbook. And her duet performance with Elias doing “My Philosophy” was a smash.  Bravo, Kasia.

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And finally, the ever lovable Snoopy was played by Shauntle Barley. Shauntle amazed us all with her dance and acrobatics on stage. She is astoundingly flexible and and graceful, and another amazing talent among the pool of R2P performers. Snoopy tickled our funny bone over and over with great tongue-in-cheek humor and silent sarcasm and with the help of great staging and a flying dog house, took us on a search and destroy mission in his Sopwith Camel in search of the infamous Red Baron. Snoopie’s Suppertime routine was one of the most fun performances in the show.

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As always, Gail, Joey, Todd, and music director Jon Riss, did a fantastic job of shaping this small group into a wonderful, entertaining production. Not to leave out all the others, and there are many, who do so much more in making these productions a success behind the scenes. Special kudos to Alexander Woods and Laura Krassowski for amazing sets, to Molly Hennighausen for another great job as stage manager. And to the many I have not mentioned here, including the rest of the production and stage crews, musicians, the many who help with costumes, tickets, concessions, and everything else, and of course the sponsors and supporters and parents, thank you all for all you do to make these performances happen. Our community is so much better in so many ways for what this theatre company brings us again and again.

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All images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.

Images from “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” are available at http://imageguy.zenfolio.com

with 20% going back to Running To Places. Please see all the photos there and please sign the guest book.