When the curtain opened, I was sucked into the world of Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts. The bright yellow sun was high in the sky over the cartoon trees, Snoopy’s red doghouse and alphabet block-furniture. The scene snippets reminded me of the panes of the comics, but the characters these students have developed are sure to satisfy any Snoopy fan.
The musical opens with Lucy, played by both Sophomore Amanda Neely and Junior Allie Miller, teaching her brother Linus, portrayed by Sophomore Scott Carrington, that Charlie Brown had “the face of a failure.” Seth Long, our Charlie Brown, is anything but a failure, giving the melancholy character an outstanding voice and lovable personality. The audience will cheer with Charlie Brown as he gets his kite off the ground and lifts the show to a happy place.
Carrington’s philosophical Linus could give Dr. Bruce a run for his money and writes better book reports than college students, but his love for his blanket and kiddie voice make the audience believe that this is just one smart 5-year-old. He swipes his blanket back from his big sister, saying with a sly grin, “It’s surprising what you can accomplish with a little smooth talking and some fast action.”
Junior Austin “The Crooner” Hinrichs, playing Schroeder, will make more than Lucy swoon when singing about his adoration for Beethoven. Donna Rollene, director, double-cast the parts of Lucy and Snoopy, but these students were up to the task. Miller’s Lucy throws tantrums worthy of a six-year-old, and her wide-eyed crush on Schroeder is sure to enchant the audience. Nelly’s Lucy has sass only Snoopy can match, making anyone believe she is capable of achieving her dream of becoming queen. Thankfully, the University’s counseling department is not as condescending as Lucy’s 5-cent psychiatric help. These two women do the character justice.
Sophomores Nathan Young and Shane Buxman make great Snoopys, adding pizzazz to the character. Buxman’s Flying Ace is sure to take down the Red Baron and charm the audience, bringing out Snoopy’s more dramatic side. Young’s ode to suppertime made me believe that all dogs praise their food with a ballad. Long is lucky to have such great Snoopys to play his best friend.
Sophomore Olivia Rollene’s portrayal of Sally will have everyone wanting to jump up on stage and chase rabbits with her and Snoopy. Her argument for a higher grade makes me wish our professors were so easily persuaded. Although she doesn’t pester Linus as much as in the comics, Sally has the independent attitude to make any older brother obsolete. (Sorry, Charlie Brown.)
Overall, the experience was pleasurable and a wonderful break from the monotony of homework