BWW Reviews: SNOOPY a Fun and Energetic Dog Treat
You're a good man, Charlie Brown, but Snoopy is pretty good, too. In fact, he's the head beagle, and he's played with excellence, honor, smarts and lots of puppy charm by Keith Pinto, who so wonderfully portrayed the same character last year in another Peanuts-based musical at the Bay Area's Retro Dome.
Of course, it wouldn't be Peanuts without the rest of the gang, present for 42nd Street Moon's production of the clever and always enjoyable musical, "Snoopy."
With her feisty attitude and spunky attitude, Ashley Rae Little is the clear stand out of the production as Peppermint Patty. Her strong voice shines during hilarious rants about a large nose, as well as touching moments with crush Charlie Brown. In a mostly silent role, Janine Burgener puts on an incredibly cute and happy face as Snoopy's bird friend, Woodstock. Ian Leonard makes the most adorable Charlie Brown, all together awkward and shy, yet full of surprising wisdom. Dyan McBride plays the bossy, know-it-all Lucy van Pelt, while Chloe Condon plays Charlie Brown's darling younger sister, the blonde and sweet Sally, and Kyle Stoner totes around his blue blanket as Linus van Pelt. Schroeder does not appear in the material of the musical, but passionate pianist and music director Dave Dobrusky gladly dons a striped shirt and shorts to fill the gap.
Felicia Lilienthal's costumes stay true to the color palette and personalities of the original characters, while still providing original flair. Hetor Zavala's scenic design compliments the costumes, with Snoopy's doghouse sitting in front of a sky-blue backdrop framed by comic-strip squares.
The musical features a long first act and short second act full of bits from the Peanuts cartoons and comics. Holiday favorites make appearances, including the Great Pumpkin, but given the timing of the production, a quick reference to Christmas leaves audiences wanting more. The production's music doesn't quite match the catchy brilliance of "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown," another Peanuts-based musical, but Cindy Goldfield's direction progresses at the perfect pace, allowing audiences to fully enjoy the many laughs. And with such a talented cast, the energy of the production is exhausting.