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'Peanuts' Gang Comes To Henderson Pavilion


You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
Dan Decker/Director

"You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" is a musical based on the classic "Peanuts" comic strips. It is playing this weekend at the Henderson Pavilion

Charlie Brown has been the star of the "Peanuts" comic strips and animated movies since the franchise began in October 1950. 

He and his friends have become some of the most beloved characters in all of fiction.

In addition to television specials, books and a museum, Chuck and the Peanuts gang are brought to life in a musical that first played in 1967.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is still performed all over the country today. The City of Henderson is presenting it this weekend at the Pavilion.

Peanuts creator Charles Schulz died February 12, 2000, but the characters and series live on.

Fans of the series might come into the show with certain expectations of how their favorite characters will be presented.

Actor Kirsten Hiebert indicated that Lucy's notoriously crabby nature will be very much intact in her performance.

"I was a lot to deal with as a child, so it sort of comes naturally," Hiebert mused.  "I kind of understand where she's coming from.  I've grown out of it, mostly."   

"I saw it in the auditions!" director Dan Decker chimed in with a laugh.

"Obviously we have to follow guidelines, but... we all put our own twist on the characters," said James Simpson, the actor portraying titular character Charlie Brown.  "[The actor playing] Snoopy has definitely put [in] his own quirkiness... it definitely draws him apart from other Snoopys I've seen."

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Donte Miller, who plays Schroeder, embraces the nostalgia value.  He knows adults in the audience who grew up with these characters will want to see them done justice.

Miller takes a very childlike approach to his acting method in the show.

"These little kids... they really are big shoes to fill," Miller said. "It's easier to get into that kid mode... because we all know kids - they just don't care.  They just do.  And that's what acting is."

 "The challenge is more on the audience than it is on us... to kind of bring together their expecations with what's right there in front of them," Decker added.  

Decker said this weekend's show is a more "extreme" modernization of the almost-50-year-old musical.  

Audience members should expect more elaborate staging than most productions of the play, which generally include a minimalist set with few scene changes or props.  

However, the show's timeless and inspiring takeaway remains the same, says Decker.

"The underlying message is that if you are true to who you are... happiness will indeed come to you."


Dan Decker, Director, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; James Simpson, actor, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Kirsten Hiebertactress, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Donte Milleractor, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Nicole Johnson, Public Relations Coordinator, City of Henderson



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