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11 November 2012

Cast energy leads popular musical to success

Laughter filled the Hillel theater as Charlie Brown and his friends discussed the events of a championship baseball game gone wrong.

Under the direction of Jason Mulligan and Justin John Moniz, QuantUM Entertainment’s You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown achieves everything the popular “Peanuts” comic strip would expect it to accomplish. Charlie Brown is the organization’s second performance of the academic school year. Thursday was opening night.

The play opens with the title song as Charlie Brown (Seth Reder) stands center stage as his friends give their opinions of him. On this particular day, his friends are all calling him a “good man,” and he decides to find out exactly how to become a good person.

Reder portrayed the title character well, incorporating all aspects of the typical Charlie Brown persona and adding a few surprising character twists of his own.

As the play progressed, the cast’s energy was palpable. Their ability to blend vocally and interact during the show’s most notable scenes was impressive. Though the show had some minor technical difficulties, the actors carried the story well, leading the audience through an exciting musical journey.

Lucy Van Pelt, played by Taylor Powell, stole the show. Powell’s quirky additions to the classical role of a know-it-all child, added great character depth and allowed the audience to connect with her performance.

Likewise, Sally Brown (Mary Claire Curran) stood out as one of the top voices of the show. Her operatic style added a new dimension to her character and the show. She was often the anchor of the musical numbers, energizing the rest of the cast with her riffs.

You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown was a fascinating display of UM talent, especially when considering the roots of the organization.