BWW Exclusive: Abigail Shapiro on YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN at 54 Below!
-Written by Abigail Shapiro
On September 2nd and 3rd, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown The Musical, is coming to 54 BELOW. But this isn't your usual production of the show. This concert version of the musical will have a cast of kids, (12-13 years old) which is different from past productions of the show, since it is usually performed with a cast of adults playing children.
You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, is a musical based off of the Peanuts comic strip. The musical features the average day of Charlie Brown, which will bring back memories of the comics, the TV show, and may even remind you of your own childhood. This concert adaptation of the revival will include some all time favorite tunes from the show, like "Book Report," "Beethoven Day," "The Kite," "My New Philosophy," etc., and will conclude with "Happiness," a song about the little things in life that can make you happy.
You will be surprised with the talent involved in this show. My sister Milly Shapiro will be playing Sally, so I had the chance to attend the rehearsal and observe, and everyone sounds phenomenal! She has received an Honorary Tony Award®, and a Grammy nomination® for her role as Matilda in Matilda The Musical on Broadway, which is quite impressive for a 13 year old! The concert will star Joshua Colley as Charlie Brown. He has appeared in two Broadway shows, in Les Miserables as Gavroche, and in Newsies as Les. There is also another Newsies alum; Luca Padovan will be playing Linus, the little boy who finds it impossible to put down his blanket. Luca currently voices Jett in the animated series Super Wings, airing on Sprout, and this fall he will be adding another Broadway credit to his resume as Billy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock. Mavis Simpson-Ernst will be playing Lucy. I had the chance to work with her this past December in the A Little Princess concert at 54 BELOW, where she played Lavinia. Mavis made her Broadway debut at just 9 years old in Evita. I also had the chance to work with Zachary Unger in a concert in Connecticut last year, and he will be playing Schroeder. At only 12 years old, he already has three Broadway credits. He played Les in Newsies (another Newsies alum), and originated the roles of Young Will in Big Fish, and Young Charlie in Chaplin on Broadway.
Having seen some of the rehearsal, I think that the show sounds fantastic, and will definitely be worth attending! 54 BELOW is even adding a special kids menu for the occasion since this show is fun for the whole family. You do not want to miss when these talented kids, with amazing credits, perform in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown next week. Hope to see you there!
Thank you so much for reading this!
Joshua Colley's previous Broadway credits: Les Miserables on Broadway (Gavroche), Newsies on Broadway (Les), 25th Anniversary National Tour of Les Miserables (Gavroche), Nickelodeon's animated television series Peter Rabbit (Pig Robinson). joshuacolley.com
Aidan Gemme: Broadway: Finding Neverland, Waiting For Godot, Mary Poppins. Off-Bway/Regional: The Cradle Will Rock (City Center), Finding Neverland (A.R.T.,IRNE Promising Young Actor nomination), Mary Poppins (MUNY). Film: Tomorrowland, Deliver Us From Evil, Santa Pups, Treasure Buddies. Television: "Dora the Explorer"; "Colbert Report." Concerts: "Broadway Battles Bullying"(Skirball Ctr); "William Finn's Ridiculously Talented 2" (54 Below).
Luca Padovan is 12 year old and is thrilled to be part of this amazing cast of characters. He made his Broadway debut in Disney's Newsies the musical and has performed in various cabarets and workshops. He voices Jett in the animated series Super Wings currently airing on Sprout. He recently recorded as James in Pasek and Paul's James and the Giant Peach cast album. This fall he will be appearing in Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock the Musical as Billy. Luca loves to read books, play guitar and has been inspired to write his own musical one day. Thanks to Van Dean, Michael Moritz, Dana Unger, Broadway Records, Innovative, Lil Angels and 54 Below. Love to Mom, Dad, Valentina, Family & my frenchie Stella! @moreorlesluca lucapadovan.com
Mavis Simpson-Ernst, age 12, made her Broadway debut at age 9 in EVITA. Before EVITA, at age 8, Mavis was on tour with LES MISERABLES and performed in 20 cities throughout the United States. Other noteworthy credits include: AZAIO, Marina (Italy, Opera Theater International); A Little Princess, Sara Crewe (Signature Theater); A Little Princess In Concert, Lavinia (54 Below). TV: "Broad City", Young Abbi (Co-Star) Comedy Central; "POWER", Suzie Spencer (Co-Star) Starz; "Project Runway", Herself (Model) Lifetime Networks; "Brain Games", Daughter (Co-Star) National Geographic Channel; "The Late Show With David Letterman." Film: 5 Doctors, Jingle Boys, The Grand March, A Scientist's Guide to Living and Dying, Little Miss Perfect. Mavis also does voiceover, commercial and modeling work and has performed live in various events including recently performing during the Knicks Halftime Show at Madison Square Garden. Mavis feels lucky to have had so many wonderful opportunities and is thrilled to be playing the role of Lucy in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown at 54 Below.
Zachary Unger is a 12 year old actor who last performed the role of Les in Disney's NEWSIES on Broadway. He also originated the role of Young Will in BIG FISH and as Young Charlie in CHAPLIN on broadway. Off Broadway: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (NY City Center/Encores), MEASURE FOR MEASURE (Shakespeare in the Park). Film: ADMISSION, TAR, LILY, WHAT MAISIE KNEW. TV: He is currently shooting guest-star roles in BILLIONS (Showtime) playing Paul Giammati's son Kevin and CONTAINMENT in the role of Quentin (CW) both which will air mid-season. Zach has done several workshops and readings and is grateful for the experiences and wonderful people he has the opportunity to work with. He plays guitar and loves sports, especially football and basketball.
Milly Shapiro (age 13) is a Tony Award® Winner and Grammy Award® Nominee for her role as Matilda in the original Broadway production of Matilda The Musical. Together with sister Abigail, they are jointly known as The Shapiro Sisters. The Sisters released their debut CD titled "Live at 54 Below: Live Out Loud!", following their series of cabaret performances at the famed Studio 54's supper club, 54 Below this past year. Originally from Tampa, Florida, the Shapiro Sisters were discovered by their manager at The Entertainment Group at their final Entertainment Revue performance and have since relocated to New York City to pursue careers in the theater.
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