CHS brings cartoon to life
Musical based on “Peanuts” strip opens tonight at Chugiak
Sophomore Trevor Spackman acts out a scene from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at a recent rehearsal. Spackman is playing the role of Charlie Brown.
STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER
Chugiak High is bringing the cartoon cast of “Peanuts” to life.
Starting tonight (Thursday, Feb. 23), students are putting on the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The show runs through Saturday, Feb. 25, starting each night at 7 p.m. at Chugiak’s Steve Primis Auditorium. Admission is $5 for students and children and $10 for adults.
“It’s really adorable,” director Lisa Reed said of the production. “I love Peanuts.”
Reed said the musical’s message is something audience members of all ages can relate to.
“There’s always hope. That’s the message of this, don’t give up,” she said. “I think everyone can identify with what they’re going through.”
The production is made up of several short scenes from the daily life of main character Charlie Brown. Charlie experiences many ups and downs, and shares the experiences with his friends — both human and nonhuman.
Reed likened the musical to the Muppets.
“It’s a fun time for family,” she said. “There are things that adults will get and things kids will get.”
While the production’s movie version is geared toward kids, Chugiak’s performance is for all-ages, said sophomore Trevor Spackman, who plays the lead role of Charlie Brown.
“On stage, you can take it to a whole new level,” he said. “It’s very entertaining. It’s not just for kids.”
The lighthearted production has several great musical numbers, Spackman said.
“The songs are catchy and jazzy,” he said.
The musical evokes childhood memories, said freshman Becca Long, who plays Lucy.
“It makes me feel like a little kid again,” she said. “It’s fun, it’s cheery, it will definitely brighten up your day.”
Long said she enjoys portraying the bully of the group.
“I like being a little snooty 8-year-old,” she said.
One of the reasons Reed chose the production was the fact that it offers solos to a variety of characters.
“It gives so many opportunities to so many different kids,” she said.
The production wouldn’t be possible without the support from Anchorage School District technicians who help with lights and sound, Reed said.
“There’s no way I could do this without their assistance,” she said.
For Long, the musical serves as a way to interact with good friends.
“It really gives me something to look forward to,” she said.
Because of the singing requirement, musicals typically draw the most gifted thespians, Spackman said.
“You get more talented people in your cast,” he said.
And, Reed said, no group is better than the one she has.
“I’ve got a great cast,” she said. “They’re really awesome.”
The tight-knit cast members are in no rush to go home each night after rehearsal, Reed said.
“I’ve got to kick them out when rehearsal is over,” she said. “They don’t want to leave. They’ve become a family.”