Snoopy heads to the stage


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The classic antics and adventures of the Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip are coming alive in Amana through the staging of Snoopy the Musical by the Old Creamery Theater Company.

The play will follow the entire “Peanuts” gang, including Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and of course, Snoopy, as they go through a series of vignettes and songs. In typical “Peanuts” fashion, the performance will be a mix of the humor and pathos that comes with growing up.

“A lot of the performance is based from the original comic strips that Charles Schulz drew, including ideas for some of the songs,” said Sean McCall, the director of the musical.

Old Creamery was considering including the show as part of its “Theater for Young Audiences Series,” a relatively recent endeavor by the troupe to get youths interested in live performance.

Every year, four shows are presented on their main stage, each specifically designed for children.

However, the members of the company decided to include it as part of their regular season for adults because of the content of the musical.

“A lot of the humor in Snoopy is adult-oriented, in the sense that it deals with themes that kids may not understand yet,” McCall said. “This is one we felt had appeal for the entire family; you have the classic ‘Peanuts’ characters for the kids, but a lot of the humor can be enjoyed by adults.”

The musical serves as a sort-of sequel to 1967’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which is the much more well-known counterpart to Snoopy. The musical has a much looser feel than its predecessor; instead of following a tightly plotted day in the life of Charlie Brown, it follows a year in the life of Snoopy through a series of brief snapshots.

“It’s amazing that ‘Peanuts’ has stood the test of time, considering it came out so long ago,” said Jennifer Cantwell, an Amana resident who has seen the show with her two children.

“Peanuts” has indeed been around for a very long time. The first strip appeared in newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950, before concluding on Feb. 13, 2000, because of the death of Schulz.

“The thing about Charlie Brown is that a lot of bad things happen to him, but he keeps going. He’s an optimist at heart. I think that’s a message that will always pertain to kids and even their parents too,” said Jeff Hafner, who plays Charlie Brown in the musical.

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