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BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brings the TV Special to the Stage

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Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas

BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brings the TV Special to the Stage

For all the Charlie Brown fans out there (and I know there are a lot of you), The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main Street in Little Rock, performed A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS for most of December, and if you missed it, all I can say is "good grief!" This show was almost a replica of the cartoon Christmas special on TV, right down to the 30ish minutes of the actual show.

Written by Charles M. Schultz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, and stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, and directed by Anna Kimmell, Charlie Brown (Simon Gess) is given the task of directing the Christmas play by Lucy (Madison Courtney-Fleck). Though he is despondent about the true meaning of Christmas, he musters up the courage and goes for it. The gang dances through rehearsals, Charlie Brown looks for the perfect tree, and Snoopy (Melody Small) wins for best decorations on his dog house. At the end Linus (Walt Wenger) tells Charlie Brown the real meaning of Christmas, and they finish out the show singing Christmas carols. BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brings the TV Special to the Stage

This was such a cute, cute show! The costumes were colorful, the actors portrayed their characters perfectly, and the whole thing brought back memories of days gone by when everyone gathered around the TV to watch specials such as this. Also enjoyable were the musicians-Julia Buckingham on piano, Brian Wolverton on bass, and Patrick Lindsey on percussion. I always love when there are actual musicians at a play with music in it.

Don't let the ages of these performers confuse you. They are pros-well polished, articulate, and capable to carry an iconic show, and for this production, all local. According to the BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brings the TV Special to the Stage program, The Rep is "the state's most established professional theatre since its founding in 1976." Central Arkansas is fortunate to have a theatre that provides this caliber of live entertainment.

Along with bringing world-class shows to Little Rock, The Rep also holds classes and camps. Check out their website at www.therep.org, to get your young thespian into a class with like-minded peers. For the Spring 2022 semester, they are offering Teen Ensemble, an audition-based class which is closed, and High School Musical Theatre, where they will ultimately have a musical revue at the end of the season. BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brings the TV Special to the Stage

Next up for the Rep will be DESIGNING WOMEN in the middle of January. I saw this in Fayetteville and for those that loved the TV show, you DO NOT want to miss this play. It is so funny! Linda Bloodworth-Thomason revamps the script to place the ladies during COVID and the 2020 election. You know Julia Sugarbaker will have a lot to say about both topics!

BWW Review: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brings the TV Special to the Stage


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