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THE PEANUTS GANG — In front is Snoopy (played by Sophie Mercado). Behind her are Sally Brown (Kristi Gibson), Charlie Brown (Logan Freeman) and Lucy Van Pelt (Dahlys Lorenz). In the back are Schroeder (Lorelei Wilson), Woodstock (Leona Gibson) and Linus Van Pelt (David Finkle). PHOTO COURTESY ANNE SOLLIEN

BY DARLENE STEWART

For nearly 50 years, the characters of Peanuts lived in the tiny frames of the funny papers, but for three upcoming weekends, they get to escape their tiny existence and come alive on the stage at Shoestring Theatre in Lake Helen.

Originally performed in 1967, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a charming musical about the well-known Peanuts characters: Charlie Brown, Sally Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, Linus Van Pelt, Snoopy and Schroeder.

Many people will remember the feel-good songs, including “Happiness,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Suppertime,” “Book Report” and many others.

Broadway’s 1999 revival of the show reintroduced the musical to a new audience who clearly loved it. The show was nominated for three Tony Awards, winning two; five Drama Desk Awards, winning three; and one Grammy Award.

Shoestring’s cast includes an eclectic group of actor-singers, ranging in age from 10 to 55. The audience will recognize the fun relationship between Woodstock (played by Leona Gibson) and Snoopy (Sophie Mercado), or Schroeder (Lorelei Wilson), who is obsessed with Beethoven. We love to see Charlie Brown (played by Logan Freeman) and Lucy (Dahlys Lorenz) constantly changing the meaning of a true friend. The youngest characters, Sally (played by Kristi Gibson) and Linus (David Finkle), who loves his blanket, remind us what it is like to be a kid.

An unusual fact about this production is that the two actors playing the youngest characters are in reality the oldest actors in the cast.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown will run Friday, April 22, through Sunday, May 8, on weekends only. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $22 for adults, $20 for senior citizens, and $15 for students (student tickets may only be purchased in person at the box office). Make reservations online at www.shoestringtheatre.net, or call the box office at 386-228-3777.

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