I've mentioned the little known musical, Snoopy!!!, quite a few times here and posted a few of its wonderful songs. It struck me that I should return to the mothership. So, here's a number from the musical that started it all, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
The show had a terrific score by Clark Gesner -- who also largely wrote the book, taking much of the text from Peanuts strips, but remarkably he chose to use a pseudonym for that, "John Gordon." He apparently felt that since so much of it was Charles Schultz's words, and there were some others who had input, he didn't want to take credit. Which is halfway between admirable and unbelievable.
The show was originally an off-Broadway production, where it had a huge run for 1,597 performances, almost four years. It later transferred to Broadway, though it didn't last all that long there. The revival in 1999 added a few news songs by a different composer Andrew Lippa, which I didn't find had quite the same charm, though "My Philosophy," was very good, and the song introduced Kristin Chenoweth who won a Tony Award as Best Supporting Actress. It only ran for 149 performances.
The original production had a terrific cast, the best known of who was Gary Burghoff as Charlie Brown, later best known for playing Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H. Other notables in the cast were Bob Balaban as Linus, and Reva Rose as Lucy.
Rather than play a song from the original cast album, though -- most notable for the closing number, "Happiness," I thought I'd embed the opening title number from the wonderful animated TV production they did of the show, since it includes a bit of the dialogue and sketches. Though in retrospect it's an obvious thing to do, it was a stroke of genius to have done You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (and later, Snoopy!!!) with animated Peanuts gang as one of their specials, extended. A lot of the charm of the stage musical is seeing the roles played by adults -- but I think seeing the actual Peanuts characters performing the show is a special treat.
And there's another nice bonus. In the opening credits, you'll see that Clark Gesner finally got full credit for writing the book.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor