You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

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Based on Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip, Clark Gesner and John Gordon's 1967 musical comedy (retooled in the 90s by Michael Mayer and Andrew Lippa) loses something essential in translation. On the page, Schulz offsets the cuteness of his characters with a surprisingly mature sense of existential angst. But onstage, as often happens in shows with adults playing children, the characters' neuroses are reduced to shtick and the whole thing comes across as just too relentlessly adorable. La Costa Theatre Company's vibrant, well-sung production is impressive in terms of confidence and polish, especially given the troupe's youth and shoestring budget. The standout is bubbly Anna Schutz, playing Charlie Brown's dizzy kid sister, Sally. --Zac Thompson a Through 8/12: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM, A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, 866-468-3401, $10-$20.

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