Charlie Brown hits the stage for the spring musical

The cast of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Staff Report

Kites were flying and Snoopy was singing as the cast of Peanuts takes the stage in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” this year’s spring musical, which took place this month.

“It’s really just a fun show, mostly directed at younger audiences, and older audiences that grew up on Charlie Brown,” Senior Andre Burns said. “It’s a positive light to have shed in such troubling times of today.”

Burns played the lead role in the show alongside other Seniors, including Tyrese Cooper, Na’Riyah Richardson, James George, David Hasenjaeger, Faith Henderson, and Cam Chavez. 

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to grow to love the show so much,” Burns said. “Playing 5-years-old wasn’t something I was really looking forward to, but the role has grown on me a lot.”

This show doesn’t really have a “story.” It is about Charlie Brown, a boy who wants to take action, but is usually disheartened by his lack of confidence, Burns explained.

“My biggest challenge with this show has been mental, honestly,” he said. “Trying to figure out half of the time what made me even deserve the role. It’s my first lead role, and I’m honestly still scared senseless. I really am a Charlie Brown sometimes. But I’m coming around, and so is the character.” 

Before this show, Burns has played older characters, including the store owner, Mr. Mushnik, to a police officer and bum stepdad.

“So, having to channel my inner 5-year-old has been quite the learning experience, and I think I’ve come a long way with the role,” he said.

Junior Genesis Williams starred as Charlie Brown’s nemesis Lucy.

“[The audition process] was kind of surreal for me,” Williams said. “I would kind of imagine myself as if I were actually on stage with an audience. The amount of people auditioning was small, but I was still scared I wouldn’t even get a part, because it is a small cast, so I went all out.” 

Williams is having fun exploring Lucy’s outgoing personality.

“She’s known to be bossy, obnoxious, even crabby,” Williams said. “I think maybe my favorite song of hers is ‘Little Known Facts.’ Like everything she’s saying is wrong of course, but she’s so proud of herself and honestly believes that she’s right.”

She also enjoyed the humor in the show, which revolves around the classic comic strip.

“I think the funniest moment for me is during this scene where all the students are running across stage doing their shenanigans and Charlie Brown is supposed to be struggling with his kite, trying to get it to fly,” she said. “And he has two kites that get caught together. So I’m telling him to go and he’s fighting with these two kites across the stage and at one point he just hangs his head, drops the kites and pout across the stage with like 20 feet of kite behind him.”

Williams said the biggest challenge for her has been learning all the lines.

“Lucy talks so much and it’s basically just her blabbering, so there’s a lot of improv or ad-libbing for me.”

The rehearsal process is arduous, with rehearsals lasting sometimes until 10 p.m., especially as the show dates near.

“This week specifically, call time has been around 5:00,” Burns said. “When we first get there, we kind of come in and get comfortable. Around 5:30, everyone starts getting dressed, and I’m probably somewhere fighting with the kite. We do mics around 6, rehearse lines and vocals with each other for about an hour, and then we start run-through at 7 p.m. Usually, this ends our night around 10 p.m., but lately it’s been around 9 p.m.”

However, the hard work has its rewards.

“Working with the Reinharts is always a recipe for growth,” Burns said. “After four years, I can honestly say, it’s impossible to do a Reinhart show, seriously, and not grow. I’ve expanded my acting range so much, since the start of this show, I feel.” 

Burns realizes this show is special because it’s his first lead and his last show with the Reinharts.

“ It’s really bittersweet,” he said. “All I’ve known for the past four years has come to an abrupt end. It honestly doesn’t feel real. But, at the same time, I’ve come so far over my years, and I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had, and all of the opportunities that my high school experiences have made for me, even moving into my next stages of life. This show is my last shock of childhood, and I’m enjoying every second.”