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Peanuts characters come to life at the Barn

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It isn't often Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre does a musical. But then again, not every musical is like the “hilarious and heartwarming musical tribute” the perhaps the most beloved comic strip of our time, “Peanuts.”

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” the musical written by Clark Gesner that is based on the Charles Schulz comic strip and its characters,” opens a six-week run at the theatre in Goodfield on Thursday. It will continue Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons through July 27.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is perfect for all ages and is a great show for families to see together, the theatre said in a news release.

“It’s a funny and nostalgic look back to our childhoods with our favorite friends from ‘Peanuts,’

including Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally, and, of course, Snoopy. The delightful skits and songs take us through a typical day in the life of our hapless but hopeful hero, Charlie Brown and his friends,” the theatre said.

Many classic “Peanuts” moments are encapsulated in this enchanting

musical: Lucy mooning over the Beethoven-obsessed Schroeder and manning her psychiatric booth with the price of five cents; Linus’ devotion to his blanket; Charlie Brown’s lonely lunch time and dismal attempt to fly a kite; and Snoopy’s joyous celebration of “Suppertime.” The day ends with the perennial “Peanuts” anthem “Happiness.”

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” ran for nearly four years off-Broadway and spawned nine touring companies in the late 1960s. The show was revised by Michael Mayer and composer Andrew Lippa for a tour in 1998, leading to a Broadway production in 1999 that received two Tony Awards and launched the career of Broadway favorite Kristen Chenoweth as Sally. The revised version has bright new musical arrangements, along with new musical numbers and updated sketch material, the theatre said.

The iconic Peanuts characters will be brought to life by favorite members of the Barn’s resident company, including Pat Gaik as Charlie Brown, Mary Simon as Lucy, Dan Challacombe as Linus, Tamra Challacombe as Sally, Chad Kirvan as Schroeder, and Jimmy LaHood as Snoopy.

The production is directed and staged by Mary Simon with musical direction by Chad Kirvan and choreography by Tamra Challacombe.

The buffet at the Barn includes, on evening performances, four main entrees featuring prime rib and fried chicken, with salad, homemade soup and cheese spread, and a choice of four taste-tempting, homemade desserts.

Prices for dinner and show are $35.00 on Thursday evening, $37.00 on Friday evening and Sunday brunch, and $39.00 on Saturday evening, including tax. Children 12 or under receive a $10 discount off regular prices. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the buffet open from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and show time at 8 p.m. For the Sunday brunch performances doors open at noon and the show starts at 1:30 p.m.

For details and reservations, call the box office at 309-965-2545. For more information, visit the Barn on the internet at www.barn2.com.