Review by Holli Harms
3 June 2016
Happiness is 'You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown' now playing at the York Theatre Company, a gem of a space tucked away on 54th and Lexington and so easy to get to, just hop on the E train.
The York is dedicated to creating quality theatre for the entire family and work to make sure that every audience member have a night of fun. They are well prepared to accommodate all family members especially the very young members, offering anyone who might need it a booster seat. One young audience member, upon sitting on her booster, exclaimed, “Grandma, I can see really good now,” which is perfect because there was so much to see.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, based on the Charles Schultz beloved comic strip, was first produced in 1967 and made stars out of Gary Burghoff, and Bob Balaban. The 1999 revival made a star of Kristin Chenoweth. All of them adults playing kids.
This time around the play is being done by actual kids – extremely talented Broadway kids.
Joshua Colley is Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown with a rockin’ great set of vocal chords and acting chops. All of the actors are top notch singers, dancers, actors – triple threats all the way.
The musical is an American invention. It is completely ours and this musical based on characters so embedded in our culture is our gift to ourselves. The songs are everything about being a child. Hilarious, clever, hand clapping good. The play with its quick scenes and asides is part vaudeville, part stand up, and all musical. The musical numbers directed by piano player and conductor Eric Svejcar. He and his piano sit directly center stage and along with a bass and drums they are the support for this great cast.
All the things you love about Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder and Snoopy are there - the infamous little red-head girl that Charlie is so in love with, Lucy’s lemonade stand turned psychiatrist stand, Snoopy’s red house and more… With the first notes of the overture my eight year old and I melted into our seats ready for the fun to take us away.
You will find yourself smiling from ear to ear when you leave, humming the songs, forgetting all about elections and podiums and people yelling, “Look at me! Look at me!” Maybe we should all take up Sally Brown’s philosophy of the word, “NO!” “NO!”
What did my eight year old have to say about the show?
“It was SICK!” And I say, “It was pretty fantastic!” Which means exactly the same.
So I give You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown a triple thumbs UP for fun, talent, happiness and an all-around good time.”
"Don’t go expecting to be knocked out, though Jeremy T. Villas draws some extra applause with his dance moves in Linus’s “My Blanket and Me” number. Instead, go if you have young children to bring who will be impressed by seeing actors their own age at close range. And savor the intricacy of this show, whose book, music and lyrics are by Clark Gesner (enhanced here with additions made for a 1999 Broadway run). The songs are a delight. Sometimes, in the group numbers, this young cast even gets the most out of them."
Neil Genzlinger for New York Times
External links to full reviews from popular press...