CHARLIE BROWN AND GANG COME TO NEW CANAAN


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Happiness is spending two delightful hours with a sextet of friends, even if some of them are wishy-washy, passive-aggressive, co-dependent, prickly- pearish, obsessed with Mozart and fuzzy furry.  Come meet the clan/family of one Charlie Brown whose desire to be accepted and loved have occupied the comic strip pages, thanks to Charles Schulz, for decades.

Summer Theatre of New Canaan is putting our old friend Charlie front and center for viewing, warts and dimples and all, in their engagingly charming “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” the Broadway Musical, weekends in Waveny Park until Saturday, July 9.

Gather your kites to help Charlie, your blankets to keep Linus company, your lollipops for Sally, some classical sheet music for Schroeder, a few psychiatry problems for Lucy and a filled supper dish for Snoopy and settle in for a fun time with the gang.

Edmund Bagnell’s wonderful Charlie is still off-balance. Should he or shouldn’t he approach the little red-haired girl he loves? Will he or won’t he get a Valentine this year? Is it possible to pitch a baseball game and actually win? He is joined in his angst by a sweet little sister Sally, spunkily created by Malika Petty who creates new philosophies for herself every other minute, like a simple “NO” to a more complex “Why are you telling ME?”

Next up is the piano serenading Schroeder, played by a dedicated to Beethoven Stephen Schellhardt, who loves to ignore the matrimonial advances professes by a regal Kate Bodenheimer as the newly self-elected Queen of Crabbiness. Not to be ignored are the blanket clutching for comfort Linus, Lucy’s little brother, a sensitive Nick Reynolds, and everybody’s special animal friend, the adorable and cuddly Christian Libonati as Snoopy, who knows how to dance for his supper. Melody Meitrott Libonati directs this warm and fuzzy delight.

For tickets ($25 and up), call STONC at 203-966-4634 or online at www.stonc.org. Waveny Park is off exit 37, Merritt Parkway. Free parking is just past the park on Farm Road.

Performances are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Next up is “Carousel” July 16-August 6, as well as “A Year with Frog and Toad” weekends to July 17 and “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” weekends from July 23-August 6, for young audiences, Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at noon.

Let the Peanuts gang take you on a tour of their childhood and you might be surprised and happy to recognize some of it as your own.

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