Where Did That Little Dog Go? It’s been eight years since the last original Peanuts strip was printed, and eight years since we lost Charles Schultz. But of course his Peanuts characters will always live on, and get a chance to literally come to life in the Broadway shows based on his comic strip including this one named after Charlie Brown’s lovable beagle. And bringing those characters to life in this production is the group from Christian Youth Theater in Chula Vista.

Director Kim Messina has collected a talented cast for her production of Snoopy!, led by Jay Schenk as the title character who leads many of the show’s big musical numbers, interspersed among little anecdotes by the various characters with their profoundly childlike insights into life. 

Jay makes for an excellent Snoopy with a great sense for the beagle’s humor, coolness, and melodrama. And it doesn’t get much more melodramatic then The Great Writer as he leads us through a dark and stormy night. He is joined by all his regular cohorts, with Kevin McDonald as his luckless owner Charlie Brown. We see Chuck getting razzed by Lucy during his school crossing guard duty (“Fuzz!” and “Police brutality!”), and we see him wistful for a happier time when Snoopy was a happy, loving pup in the touching Where Did That Little Dog Go with the younger versions of the cast playing out those happy times. Heather Banks stars as Lucy, doing so with a very Lucy-ish persona – bossy, self-centered (absent-mindedly Heather Banks and Erika Osuna attentive to her hair), bored with the concerns of others (but willing to take 5 cents to listen to them), and leading the big Dime a Dozen number with a terrific voice and style. Sarah De La Isla is a hit as Peppermint Patty and delivers a hilarious version of Poor Sweet Baby, her beautiful, tender serenade to Charlie Brown after he admits wishing to be called “poor, sweet baby.” Yes, he gets his wish, but it is accompanied by some physical abuse as she squeezes his cheeks together, forces his head to her shoulder, “whispers” in his little ear, and makes sure that he shows her where it hurts (as she slugs him in the shoulder).

Elsewhere, Anna Strickland gives an amusing turn as Sally who deals with a lot of educational-related stress (her snowflake melts before show-and-tell, getting a ‘C’ for her coat-hangar artwork). Brent Burbank waits for The Great Pumpkin with fervent anticipation in The Vigil and goes berserk, flapping around on the ground, when mean Lucy steals his beloved blanket. Madison Johnson is a hoot as Snoopy’s lively sidekick Woodstock. Daniel Collins offers up some expert butt-scratching techniques as Pigpen. And the whole group is filled with strong vocal and comic talent. The girls combine for a lovely I Know Now as they wonder what their lives would have been like if they knew from birth all the knowledge they’ve gained since then. And the entire gang sings the praises of Edgar Allen Poe, excitedly finds all sorts of exotic scenes in the Clouds, kick off the second act on a great note with When Do the Good Things Start, and end with inspiring renditions of Don’t Be Anything Less and Just One Person.

We can thank the one person of Charles Schultz for changing the world for the better, and the group at CYT for reminding us how he did it.

Performs March 28 - 30, 2008.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Snoopy: Jay Schenk
Charlie Brown: Kevin McDonald
Linus: Brent Burbank
Lucy: Heather Banks
Peppermint Patty: Sarah De La Isla
Sally: Anna Strickland
Marcie: Tealla Pierce
Frieda: Erika Osuna
Violet: Eva Flores
Eudora: Shannon Malone
Schroeder: Anthony Antoniszyn
Pigpen: Daniel Collins
Red-Headed Girl: Victoria Sand
Rerun: Ben Maley
Franklin: Malcolm Moses
5: Jake Gardner
Shermy: Daniel Long
Woodstock: Madison Johnson
Young Snoopy: Harley Henderson
Young Charlie Brown: Nathan Adam
Young Linus: Daniel Manibusan
Young Lucy: Brisa Garcia
Young Peppermint Patty: Lauren Clamon
Young Sally: Madison Graves
Young Marcie: Jenny Oh
Young Schroeder: Mathew Fernandez
Young Pigpen: Maximilian Discar

Peanuts Ensemble:
Haley Alderete
Isabella Cebreros
Julia Collins
Edgar Cortez
Monica Escalante
Gabriela Esquivel
Elizabeth Figueroa
Lauren Grey
Alyssa Gonzales
Mallory Johnson
McKenzie Johnson
Taylor Keene
Amber Maertz
Ellen Maley
Michelle Manibusan
Valerie Osuna
Emily Oswald
Hannah Pentico
Amy Wawryznski
Megen Weilersbacher

Brent Burbank
Daniel Collins
Julia Collins
Sarah De La Isla
Gabriella Esquivel
Alyssa Gonzalez
Taylor Keene
Shannon Malone
Michelle Manibusan
Monica Manibusan
Malcolm Moses
Erika Osuna
Valerie Osuna
Victoria Sand
Anna Strickland
Amy Wawryznski

Director/Choreographer: Kim Messina
Musical Director: Janie d'Avignon
Costumer: Sharon Dopulos
Lighting Design: Grant Gilligan
Set Coordinator: Danny Manibusan
Sound Design: David Banks, Glen Collins, Dan De La Isla


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