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Feel good show opening at TBT

March 23, 2012
By DIANE SPEER - News Lifestyles Editor , The Alpena News

One of America's most recognizable comic strips returns to Thunder Bay Theatre next week in stage format. Based on the beloved "Peanuts" characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" opens March 30 for a three-week run.

This 1967 musical comedy by Clark Gesner has been described as an average day in the life of Charlie Brown. It is made up of little moments from Valentine's Day to the baseball season and from Charlie Brown's wild optimism to his utter despair, all mixed together with the lives of his friends, both human and non-human.

TBT Artistic Director J.R. Rodriguez doesn't want to make the show about politics, but he believes that since the country currently is in the midst of a contentious U.S. presidential race and facing many other problems as well, Americans just want to feel good about themselves and Charlie Brown offers that chance.

Article Photos

Courtesy Photo
Thunder Bay Theatre’s newest production, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” stars, from left, Nickie Hilton as Lucy, Morgan Suszek as Charlie Brown, Emily Szatkowski as Snoopy, MacKenzie Fountain as Linus, Kendra McInerney as Sally Brown and LeShawn Bell as Schroeder.

"Even if it's just for two hours, you get to feel good," Rodriguez said. "That's what's great about what Charles Schulz created."

As director, he is pleased with the cast assembled for the show.

"It's a fantastic cast," Rodriguez said. "They're all type-cast according to their characters."

Morgan Suszek stars as Charlie Brown, while core company member Nickie Hilton plays Lucy. TBT's newest core company member, LeShawn Bell, is the piano-playing Schroeder. Core company member Kendra McInerney plays Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally Brown. Emily Szatkowski is Snoopy and MacKenzie Fountain is Linus.

Once again serving as TBT music director and accompanist for the show is Bunny Lyon, who will be dressed as Peppermint Patty. Production team members Zach Clement and Rick Mesler also will do their jobs attired as Pig-Pen and Woodstock.

The show runs March 30-April 15 with show times at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. There is no show scheduled for April 8. For reservations, call the TBT box office at 354-2267.



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