Wednesday, November 15, 2006

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Score by Clark Genser
Based on "Peanuts" characters by Charles M. Schultz
As performed by the Platte Valley Players

Well, musical time has come and gone again 'round these parts. Actually, this year was the first year that the PVP has put on two shows in a year, instead of just one, so the musical was quite a bit later than usual, in November. I played viola in the pit orchestra, and ended up conducting one show due to a schedule conflict with the director.

YaGMCB is, essentially, a musical 'sketch' comedy. It contains a number of scenes, some musical, some not, that are linked thematically by the Peanuts cast, rather than as a simple narrative structure. It feels very much like a compilation of Peanuts strips. The revised score is somewhat lacking in places (among other things, the instrumentation is quite sparse), but there are some nice numbers in the show nevertheless.

The Platte Valley Players have once again impressed me with their talent, dedication and skill: the choreography was good, and well-executed; although there were some rough spots, there wasn't a huge problem with keeping the actors with the orchestra (and vice-versa); the set design was good and fit well with the style of the show. It is remarkable to me how well the troupe can do with the limitations that they have as a community group (low budget, time constraints, etc), which they have shown before in their production of The Mikado.

In particular, though I doubt they will ever read this, kudos to Charlie Brown, who, so far as I noticed, only messed up a line once during the performances; to Lucy, who did a remarkable job singing in the annoying voice of her character (and not the actress's normal singing voice... it's always hard to sing poorly when you've been trained to sing well); and to Sally Brown, who worked so very hard to get the rhythms right, and eventually did.

I never know beforehand whether I'll play for a musical or not, but I think I'm inclined to play again for PVP if they ask.
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