Children can say the darndest things, as Art Linkletter would say, uttering profound truths, hilarious anecdotes, and cutting comments in a totally honest but innocent way. Open Stage West presents a thoughtful and fond look at Charles M. Schultz’ classic cartoon strip “Peanuts” in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a humorous, touching mixture of skits and songs that embraces life’s messiness and humanity.
The production reveals the busy goings-on in the lives of Charlie Brown (Jordan Cole), his sister Sally (Grace Ingland), their dog Snoopy (Anastasia Washington), and their friends Lucy (Dalida Plavjian), Linus (Michael Heiman), and Schroeder (John McCutcheon) as they deal with school and friend frustrations.
The cast projects a pleasing warmth and genuineness, possessing fine rapport with each other. Cole starts a little too upbeat as Charlie, but becomes vulnerable and compassionate. McCutcheon stands out as Schroeder, exuding a flamboyant, expressive confidence and excellent singing voice. Ingland makes Sally a saucy little sister with attitude and good singing.
Starting a little slowly and off, the cast picks up momentum and confidence as the evening progresses, finally gelling in the second act. At that point, the pacing and timing fly by.
Director A. K. Stewart does a fine job keeping everything moving around the little stage, and Daniel Alexander ably accompanies the action on the electric piano.
A sweet, well acted presentation that salutes the confusion and innocence of childhood, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown takes a good look at helping others and fitting in.
SprocketRocket Productions presents You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on June 11, 12, 18, and 19, 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 6, at Open Stage West Annex Theatre, 14336 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Tickets cost $18 cash at the door, or visit www.brownpapertickets.com or 1-800-838-3006, event ID: 110322.