BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Dallas Children's Theater
As the Christmas holiday approaches, people turn to family, friends and traditions. One tradition that continues to connect generations is A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, and you can now see it come to life onstage at Dallas Children's Theater.
Based on the popular animated television special that has been running every Christmas season for over fifty years now, the story is a familiar one: our beloved antihero, Charlie Brown, is disappointed with his friends for falling for the commercialism of Christmas and searches for the true meaning of Christmas. Sorting through Christmas cards, gifts and tinsel trees, in the end, he and his friends discover that it isn't those things that create the spirit of Christmas - it is the message of the birth of Christ, and peace and goodwill to all men.
Dallas Children's Theater succeeds at recreating the cartoon scene by scene, recalling nostalgic childhood memories for everyone who grew up watching it. Immediately upon entering the theatre, the set designed by H. Bart McGeehon transports you to a wintery playground, full of leafless trees, an ice rink and cartoonish mounds of snow. The design is so simple, but exactly what a show like this needs. Adam C. Wright should also be commended for his music direction and for bringing the jazz music of the original show to life with a fantastic combo band. The direction and choreography by K. Doug Miller are also pulled directly from the cartoon, which is charming and entertaining, but a little off-putting and unrealistic at times. In addition, the truly ensemble cast does a great job with acknowledging the source characters, and yet making them their own. However, mention must be made of the standout performance by Steph Garrett as Snoopy. Each time she was onstage, though she had no real "lines," the audience laughed out loud and waited to see what she would do next. She was entrancing, delightful and amusing.
If you are looking to relive your childhood traditions or wanting to share them with new generations, go see A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. The show runs now through December 23rd at Dallas Children's Theater. Tickets are available at http://www.dct.org.