You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)

A TAMS-WITMARK TITLE

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)

Charles M. Schulz, Clark Gesner, Michael Mayer, Andrew Lippa

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  2f, 4m

Based on The Comic Strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz / Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner / Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer / Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa / Original Direction for this version of Youre A Good Man, Charlie Brown by Michael Mayer / Originally Produced in New York by Arthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson

Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts gang explore life's great questions as they play baseball, struggle with homework, sing songs, swoon over their crushes, and celebrate the joy of friendship.

Photo: ©PNTS

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2f, 4m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Suggested Use
    Suggested Use
    • Cutting Approved for Competition
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Young Children (Age 2 - 5)
    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
Accolades
Accolades
  • Winner! Two 1967 Drama Desk-Vernon Rice Awards for Director and Performer
    Winner! 1967 Outer Critics Circle Award for Production
    Winner! Three 1999 Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical
    Winner! Two 1999 Tony Awards® for Best Actress and Featured Actor
    Nominee: Two 1999 Tony Awards® for Best Revival and Best Director of a Musical
Description
Happiness is great musical theatre! With charm, wit, and heart, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown explores life through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his friends in the Peanuts gang. This revue of songs and vignettes, based on the beloved Charles Schulz comic strip, is the ideal first show for those who would like to do a musical. Musical numbers include "My Blanket and Me," "The Kite," "The Baseball Game," "Little Known Facts," "Suppertime," and "Happiness." Guaranteed to please audiences of all ages!

NOTE: You are not required to perform the entire show! You may, at your option, perform your choice of scenes from the show, provided that the total running time for your performance (without intermission) is no less than 45 minutes. Under no circumstances may you add any dialogue, music, or vocal material to the show or combine versions. In the event that you do exercise this option, you do not need to notify us, and the quotation will not change.

All Tams-Witmark shows other than You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised or Original) must be performed in their entirety.
History
You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown opened on March 7, 1967 and played for 1,597 performances in New York at the theatre 80 St. Marks with Gary Burghoff in the title role. This version was revived on Broadway in 1971 and played for 32 performances at the John Golden Theatre. A new version, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised), was presented on Broadway in 1999 and played for 149 performances at the Ambassador Theatre with Tony Award-winning performances by Roger Bart as Snoopy and Kristin Chenoweth as Sally.

Act I

A program note says that the time of the action is "an average day in the life of Charlie Brown." It really is just that, a day made up of little moments picked from all the days of Charlie Brown, from Valentine's Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends (both human and non-human) and strung together on the string of a single day, from bright uncertain morning to hopeful starlit evening.

It seems to start off all right. After some brief comments on the nature of his character by his friends, Charlie Brown is swept into their center by a rousing tribute of only slightly qualified praise, in the song "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." He is then left to his own musings as he eats his lunch on the school playground, complicated unbearably by the distant presence of his true love, the "little redheaded girl," who is always just out of sight.

True love also seems to be the only unmanageable element in Lucy's solid life, which we discover as we watch her try to bulldoze her way through to her boyfriend's sensitive, six-year-old musician's heart, in "Schroeder." The little scenes then begin to accumulate, and we learn that Lucy's little brother, Linus, is thoughtful about many things but fanatical when it comes to the matter of his blanket; that Patty is sweet and utterly innocent; and that Charlie Brown's dog spends much if not most of his time thinking of being something else-a gorilla, a jungle cat, perhaps a handsome trophy or two-but that mostly his life is a pleasant one ("Snoopy").

The events continue to trickle on. Linus enjoys a private time with his most favorite thing of all ("My Blanket and Me"), Lucy generously bothers to inform him of her ambition-of-the-moment, to become a queen with her own queendom, and then Charlie Brown lurches in for still another bout with his own friendly enemy, "The Kite."

Valentine's Day comes and goes with our hero receiving not one single valentine, which brings him to seek the temporary relief of Lucy's five-cent psychiatry booth ("The Doctor Is In"). We then watch as four of our friends go through their individual struggles with the homework assignment of writing a hundred word essay of Peter Rabbit in "The Book Report."

Act II

Act Two roars in with Snoopy lost in another world atop his dog house. As a World War One flying ace, he does not bring down the infamous Red Baron in today's battle but we know that someday, someday he will.

The day continues. We learn of the chaotic events of the Very Little League's "Baseball Game" as Charlie Brown writes the news to his pen pal. Lucy is moved to conduct a personal survey to find out just how crabby she really is, and all the group gathers for a misbegotten rehearsal of a song they are to sing in assembly.

It is "Suppertime," and Snoopy once more discovers what wild raptures just the mere presence of his full supper dish can send him into. And then it is evening. The gathered friends sing a little about their individual thoughts of "Happiness" and then they go off, leaving Lucy to make a very un-Lucy-like gesture: she tells Charlie Brown what a good man he is.

None of the cast is actually six years old. And they don't really look like Charles Schulz's Peanuts cartoon characters. But this doesn't seem to make that much difference once we are into the play, because what they are saying to each other is with the openness of that early childhood time, and the obvious fact is that they are all really quite fond of each other.

-Clark Gesner

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE SHOW AND THIS REVISED VERSION?

In 1998 the authors and producers of the original 1967 musical show, YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN, decided it was time for a major revival of the work in a Broadway theatre. The idiomatic, intimate innocence of the characters that is presented in the original stage production has been maintained, but a new perspective has been added by emphasising the insatiable insouciance of the characters that was held in check in the original. The new cast of six characters includes Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy and Sally Brown (she replaces Patty.)

The original twelve songs all remain in this version, and two new songs: "Beethoven Day" (Schroeder & Company) and "My New Philosophy" (Sally with Schroeder) have been added. The two melodramas, Lucy's "Queen Lucy" and Snoopy's "Red Baron," retain their spoken dialogue but have completely new underscoring music. The pantomime "Rabbit Chasing" has an entirely new musical score. All the music and dialogue for the show has been reworked; it is not just the same thing with two new songs. All the show's incidental music, dance music, vocal arrangements and orchestrations are brand new. The signature simple waltz tune (instrumental only, never sung), used to open the original show and as a musical bridge between scenes is the only music from the original that is not used in the revised version. Instead, all of the incidental musical bridge passages now relate to the characters and the principal songs associated with them. And there are 465 more measures of music in this version. The entire show looks and sounds newly minted.

This version has an entirely new sound, musically distinct from the original. It is true theatre chamber music at its most inventive, orchestrated for an ensemble of five players. The orchestrations move the feeling of the work from the intimate parlor setting of the original version, into the more public arena of the theatre proper, while maintaining the basic charm of the original music. Adding bass and percussion to the piano has broadened the rhythmic pulse of the music and sharpened its edge. These instruments also allow room for a more flexible and overtly dramatic underscoring of the staging of the musical numbers. The two solo lines of the orchestration, woodwind and string, bring wonderful shades of color and texture to the sound. The string part is for viola doubling on violin, the wind part is for one player principally doubling flute, clarinet and alto saxophone. All five players double on several instruments which significantly widens the palette of color available in the orchestration. At one point (in Snoopy's song "Snoopy") all the players are asked to perform a brief passage on Kazoos!

Because the new songs, new orchestrations, and new vocal and musical arrangements are substantially different from the original, a new Piano-Conductor's Score has been written and computer-engraved. This new score is complete with all the new vocal arrangements and a piano-reduction of the new accompanying orchestration. It captures the rhythmic vitality of the new orchestrations and all the important melodic lines. This Piano-Conductor's Score can serve as the only accompanying instrument for both rehearsals and performances when the chamber ensemble is not available. The show may be performed successfully with piano accompaniment only.

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Youth/Camp Programs
  • Tours
Cautions
  • No Special Cautions

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The colorful, playful world of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes

Casting

2f, 4m
Cast Attributes
  • Features Children
  • Roles for Teens
  • Flexible casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Principals
(2 female; 4 male)

Sally Brown
Lucy Van Pelt

Snoopy
Schroeder
Charlie Brown
Linus Van Pelt

The original Broadway production had a cast of 6 performers. No doubling was employed. The show has no dedicated chorus.

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Easy
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus
Act I
1. Opening – Sally, Lucy, Snoopy, Schroeder, & Linus with Charlie Brown
2. “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, C. Brown, & Linus
2a. Playoff: Good Man – Orchestra
2b. Before Lunch Hour – Orchestra
2c. After Lunch Hour – C. Brown, Sally, Snoopy, & Linus
3. “Schroeder” – Lucy
4. Quick Change: Spaghetti – Orchestra
5. “Snoopy” – Snoopy with Sally & Linus
5a. Quick Changes: Moon – Orchestra
6. “My Blanket and Me” – Linus with Sally, Lucy, C. Brown, Schroeder, & Snoopy
6a.  After Blanket – Orchestra
7. Queen Lucy: Melodrama – Orchestra with Lucy
7a. Quick Changes: Coathanger – Orchestra with Sally
8. “The Kite” – Charlie Brown
8a. Quick Changes: Valentines – Orchestra
8b. Before Doctor: Lucy Opens Shop – Orchestra
9. “The Doctor Is In” – Charlie Brown & Lucy
10. Quick Change: Ice Cream - Orchestra
11. Quick Change: Art – Orchestra
12. “Beethoven Day” – Schroeder & Company
12a.  Playoff: Beethoven Day – Orchestra
13. Quick Change: Rabbit Chasing – Orchestra with Sally & Snoopy
14. “The Book Report” – Lucy, Schroeder, Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally &  Snoopy
Act II
15. The Red Baron – Melodrama – Orchestra & Snoopy with Sally
16. “My New Philosophy” – Sally with Schroeder
16a. Before Baseball – Orchestra
17. “The Baseball Game” – Charlie Brown & Company
17a.  After Baseball – Orchestra
17b.  Quick Change: Crabbiness Survey – Orchestra
17c.  Quick Change: A Loving Little Brother – Orchestra
18. “Glee Club Rehearsal” – Sally, Lucy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder, &            Snoopy
18a.  Quick Change: Snoopy – Orchestra
19. “Little Known Facts” – Lucy with Linus & Charlie Brown
20. “Suppertime” – Snoopy with Charlie Brown with Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, & Linus
20a.  Underscore: Night Scene – Orchestra
21. “Happiness” – Full Company
22. Bows – Full Company
22a. Exit Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Reed: Flute, Clarinet and Alto Saxophone (also doubling: Piccolo, Soprano Recorder, Soprano Saxophone & optional Kazoo)
Violin and Viola (also doubling: Alto Recorder, Kazoo and Tambourine)
Bass: Acoustic and Electric instruments (also doubling: Tenor Recorder and Kazoo)
Percussion: Trap Set and Mallet instruments (including “Kat” percussion synthesizer)

Trap Set:

Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Small Tom-Tom
Floor Tom-Tom
Jungle Drums
Hi-Hat Cymbals
Various suspended Cymbals (Crash, Splash, Ride)
Wood Block
Cow Bell (2 sizes)
Tambourine (mounted)
Triangle
Slide Whistle
Siren Whistle
Duck Quack
Sandpaper Blocks
Mark Tree
Bell Tree
Kazoo

Mallet Instruments:

Bells/Glockenspiel
Vibraphone
Xylophone
Chimes
Crotale
Timpani
Triangle
French Horn (Kat synthesizer)
Oboe (Kat synthesizer)

Materials

Scripts

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano/Conductor Score
8 Libretto/Vocal Books
1 Reed 1
1 Violin/Viola
1 Percusion 1 & 2
1 Bass

A full score is available for this title for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for additional information.

Optional performance and rehearsal tracks, in the form of MP3s, are available from Concord Theatricals for an additional fee.

Piano Only:
1 Piano/Conductor
8 Libretto/Vocal books


Optional Performance Tracks:
Performance Tracks are also available through MT Pit at an additional fee. Interested licensees should reach out to MT Pit directly to secure MT Pit Performance Tracks.

Media

Press

"The songs are a delight!" – Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

"Familiar and fun, this is a show that comforts your nostalgic inner child while welcoming the newer generations with open arms." - DC Metro Theatre Arts

"Spruced up with some new material and new songs, but its humble virtues are the same ones you’d remember from the version you a) saw, b) directed or c) starred in at Robin Hood Summer Camp: perky, pleasant tunes, the genial silliness of adults playing little kids (and a beagle), the indelible appeal of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts creations." - Charles Isherwood, Variety

"All the things you love about Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder and Snoopy are there - the infamous little redhead 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." - Holli Harms, New York Theatre Guide

"A small miracle...Almost everything works, because almost everything is effortless.'' - Walter Kerr, The New York Times

Music Samples

Videos

  • "My New Philosophy" 1999 Tony Awards

  • "Beethoven Day" - Rosie O'Donnell Show

  • Charlie Brown Commercial

More videos +

Photos

  • You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)

    Credit: Carol Rosegg

More

Authors

Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 26, 1922. His Peanuts comic strip debuted in 1950 in just seven newspapers and launched a cultural legacy. When Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, Peanuts was syndicated in over 2,600 newspapers worldwide, with book co ...

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Clark Gesner

Clark Gesner (1938-2002) was an American composer, songwriter, author, and actor. In addition to You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Mr. Gesner wrote the book, music and lyrics for Animal Fair, which premiered at the Denver Center Theatre, and with Nagle Jackson, Broadway's The Utter Glory of Morris ...

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Author

Michael Mayer

Andrew Lippa

Andrew Lippa wrote the music and lyrics for Big Fish, book by John August, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, which recently played at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway. His concept opera I Am Harvey Milk (words and music), was premiered by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. That record ...

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