Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and the rest of Charles Schultz’s Peanuts gang have been endearing themselves to children old and young for the past three generations through the comic strip, the animated holiday specials, a couple feature films, and two Broadway shows. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was the first and best known, but Snoopy has quite a bit to offer as well. And putting up the latest offering is Christian Youth Theater’s Escondido branch with a lively, charming, and whimsical rendition delivered by Director Joey Minnich and his great cast and crew.

The show takes us through a series of songs and short skits filled with the Peanuts signature combination of humor, philosophy, and childlike wonder. Some of the highlights include…

* The glitzy Dime a Dozen song-and-dance number with the female leads and a snappy chorus of Snoopettes, started when Lucy suggests the monetary value of a beagle (snazzy costumes by Carla Wille), with Snoopy and his Snoopettes’ later returning for a big Big Bow Wow scene.

* Snoopy’s melodramatic story writing beginning with the infamous “It was a dark and stormy night” and taking off from there, led by David Hott who is a hoot as the personality-filled Snoopy, and backed up by his silent but expressive best friend Woodstock (Sandy Shyu) and the rest of the gang.

* Woodstock (Sandy Shyu) and Young Woodstock (Parker Shyu) in many of the best little skits including Young Woodstock learning to fly (with some help from older Woodstock), Young Woodstock sunning himself with a sun reflector until someone walks by smelling “chicken,” and a Thanksgiving interlude where Snoopy’s hunting of Woodstock ends up having the tables turned on him.

* Peppermint Patty (Kaitlyn Terrill) comforting Charlie Brown with her terrific rendition of Poor Sweet Baby lullaby before blowing Chuck out of the water.

* The full company seeing and singing about the remarkable things their imaginations find in the shapes of the Clouds – definitely one of the best songs of the show.

* And a little snowfall on stage for the holiday classic Christmas Time Is Here.

Other strong performances come from Julie Athans as an obnoxious and intimidating Lucy who’s not shy about knocking somebody’s block off, Kellie Mendenhall as an amusing Sally who convincingly argues a better grade for her coat hanger sculpture, braves wearing a hilarious toilet seat costume for Halloween with a rolling roll of toilet paper for a hat, and who clearly has a huge crush on Linus (Jonathan Sensenbaugh), and Jenna Wille using her voice and body language to excellent effect for the pessimistic, nerdy Marcie. Director Joey Minnich adds creative little touches throughout including good use of the “Young” version of the main cast members, having Pig Pen (Brett Dunn) with a shirt that actually puffs dust when you pat it, and having Snoopy use a plunger as the flying stick on his World War I fighter plane/doghouse.

Performs through November 20, 2005.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Snoopy - David Hott
Charlie Brown - David Sensenbaugh
Peppermint Patty - Kaitlyn Terill
Lucy - Julie Athans
Linus - Jonathan Sensenbaugh
Sally - Kellie Mendenhall
Woodstock - Sandy Shyu
Violet - Molly Duncan
Marci - Jenna Wille
Frieda - Christine Hillmann
Pig Pen - Brett Dunn
Shroeder - Spencer King
Little Red Haired Girl - Rachel King

Young Snoopy - Jeremiah Gillespie
Young Charlie Brown - Tyler Ulrich
Young Peppermint Patty - Lirenza Gillette
Young Lucy - Norah Cunningham
Young Linus - Nick Holdman
Young Sally - Jaclyn Powell
Young Pig Pen - Erich Spurgin
Young Schroeder - Kevin Burnard

Brittany Saenz
Mary Sick
Ashley Twomey
Chelsea Milne
Isabelle Zapata
Brittany Zapata
Kelly Murphy
Miriam Vaught
Melissa Gillespie
Janessa Gillette
Karina Gillette
Emily Potashnick
Rachel King

Brittany Saenz
Amanda Seckendorf
Arianna Bartolotta
Mary Sick
Ashley Twomey
Mackenzie Johnson
Nikki Mendivil
Chelsea Milne
Courtney Peck
Jonathan White
Rebecca Twombly
Marisa Cleveland
Emily Potashnick
Brittany Zapata
Isabelle Zapata
Alex Ulrich
Jillian Dudley
Deborah Eastman
Kelly Murphy
Leah Murphy
Becky Lian
Chelsea White
Miriam Vaught
Becky Steinbrecher
Amy Morley
Alicia Nyblade
Avery Foncerrada
Melissa Gillespie
Mackenzie Bale
Amanda Morley
Bridget Trent
Michael Gephart
Natalia Jones
Janessa Gillette
Karina Gillette
Melina Jones

Director: Joey Minnich
Musical Director: Nancy Casey
Choreographer: Kelly Ann Wallace
Costume Design: Carla Wille
Lighting Design: Joey Minnich
Sound Design: Eric Peterson



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