CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A cast of six young adults at The Alban Arts & Conference Center is reviving Clark Gesner's 1967 musical adaptation of the Peanuts comic through lively song.
The play, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," is a composite of small vignettes from Charles Schulz' original comics, but with some added dialogue and a lot of catchy little tunes.
The show at The Alban is an excellent rendition of the classic.
The play is performed with live music, and the orchestra stays on the stage the entire show, which is fantastic.
Daniel Calwell portrays Charlie Brown -- both earnest and depressed -- and is much like the original character.
Calwell is an excellent actor with a great stage presence (most recently seen in The Alban's production of "Wind in the Willows"), but at times his character delves darker than what the audience would expect of Charlie Brown. Though, he's just as endearingly pitiful.
In his ever-diligent pursuit of "the little redhead girl," Calwell constantly attempts to gain her attention, and consistently fails.
Unsure what to do with her attention once he receives it, he is charmingly awkward. In one scene, he sits on a bench at school with his lunch sack over his head, ineffectually hiding from her gaze.
That is the essence of Charlie Brown.
Lucy, played by Hannah Ström, is absolutely overbearing, but isn't that her charm? After being called "crabby" by her crush - the musical prodigy, Schroeder, played by Clayton Spry - she proceeds to survey the rest of the cast about her level of her "crabbiness."
She bullies her loveable blanket-dragging brother Linus, played by Brandon Hawkins, into his honest opinion of her crabbiness on a scale of one to 100. After he hesitantly answers "95," she slugs him. It is classic.