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'Snoopy' pounces on The Acting Company stage
Musical brings classic Charles Schultz comics to life in Yuba City
'Snoopy! The Musical'
TIMES: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 19
WHERE: The Acting Company, 815 B St., Yuba City
TICKETS: $15 general; $10 for children 12 and younger
The world's most-popular dog and his friends will soon appear on The Acting Company stage.
"Snoopy!!! The Musical," featuring Charles Schultz's beloved "Peanuts" characters, runs Friday through Aug. 19 in Yuba City.
Co-directed by mother-daughter team Pierrette Jensen and Candee Parker, the fast-paced musical features a cast of Billy McLenden as Snoopy; Wesley Morse as Charlie Brown; Cameron Day as Linus; Gabrielle Hayes as Peppermint Patty; Darian Stranix as Lucy; Hope Heaven Lee as Sally; and Bethany Harris as Woodstock.
Jensen directed "Snoopy" for TAC 11 years ago, and in that production, Parker was on stage as Peppermint Patty. When TAC board decided to stage "Snoopy" again this year, they asked Jensen if she would like to direct it again. "It was one of the shows that I think I've been most proud of, so I said yes," Jensen said.
The storyline of the play is based on the "Peanuts" comic strips, so if you are familiar with the strips, Parker said, "You can see that it comes straight from the comic strips. The play is composed of little vignettes and a lot of different musical numbers all tied together."
"The dialogue and everything that they have is exactly the same as the strips," Jensen said. "When we did the show last time, I actually went through and cut out the different comic strips as they came out in the Sunday papers and put them in a scrapbook. We are just bringing those comic strips to life."
Parker also provides choreography. "We have a little bit of tap, a little bit of softshoe; we have some jazz. Woodstock provides a lot of comedic dancing for us throughout the show," she said.
Parker said the show includes a combination of live and prerecorded music. "When we did this production 11 years ago, Ethan Knapp was our accompanist — he played Schroeder — and he put together all of our music.
"So we are using a lot of what was done by him that was taped. But some of it we also have Steve Shepard playing," she said.
Parker said the cast is composed of all high school-aged teens, from 14 to 17 years old. Jensen said she is excited to see another group of young actors get to lead another main stage show at TAC, as was done in "Grease" earlier this year. "I think it's nice that they have their turn," she said.
"If you like the comic strip 'Peanuts' and you're in favor of the wonderful cartoon characters that it has, this is a wonderful production to see. It's very heartfelt. There's a lot of really fun numbers that are taken straight from the comic strips themselves, a lot of good humor, a lot of just enjoyable things that you can sit back and watch. It touches your heart and makes you want to smile," Parker said.
"I think it's a show that both children and adults will enjoy. It's cute because of the comic strip characters, but it also has a lot of good messages. Unfortunately, Charlie Brown gets picked on a lot, just like he does in the comic strips, but at the end, everybody comes together with a final song and you can see the bonding," Jensen said.