Time to Remember
Underage drinking, sex, drugs, bullying, homophobia, teen suicide, and rabies??? Good grief!! Times definitely have changed in playwright Bert V. Royals skewed modern take on the classic "Peanuts" characters, and the kids have grown into the scariest possible incarnations of themselves: TEENAGERS!! They're all here-C.B.(Charlie Brown), Van (Linus Van Pelt), CB's Sister (Sally) Beethoven(Schroeder), and the rest of the gang in this satirical take on toxic youth with relevant themes for modern audiences.
CB is still a bit of a loser and is mourning the tragic loss of his dog who had contracted rabies and ate his sidekick bird. CB's sister is lost, flitting from persona to persona( Goth chick, hippy, etc.) in search of her identity.Van is a horny stoner who is surprisingly wise. Matt (Pig Pen) is a homophobic germophobe with tendencies towards brutality and misogyny. Tricia (Peppermint Patty) and Marcie are cheerleaders who spike their drinks at lunch and sit in judgement of their peers as the popular party girls on campus. Van's sis (Lucy) is institutionalized for setting the little red haired girls hair on fire. And Beethoven is the molestation surviving sensitive artist who is bullied by Matt and , in the past, by CB.
Whoa! Sounds a bit much, doesn't it. But sensitively directed by Ray Stanley, the cast ably brings a grounded reality and genuine pathos to their characters. This definitely could have been broad caricatures of monsterous adolescent extremes, but the youthful cast served a heavy dose of humanity and relatability to their work. Tyler Kent as CB has found the perfect character for his hangdog looks and has an ease of delivery that sets the tone of the performance nicely. Macy Davis wrings deeply felt emotion to the role of CB's Sis and Ian Bingham's Van has finely attuned comic timing that buoys the serious material with much needed laughter. Robert Gasperson transforms physically into the outcast Beethoven and always impresses with his willingness to "Go there" emotionally. David Holland's Matt brings a raw brutality to the role, culminating in a shockingly violent moment that gave me chills. Alexis Master's Tricia and her constant companion Marcy (played by Cassidy Cobb) have great chemistry and play off each other well. And Leah Blais gives a delightfully unhinged take on the locked-in-the-looney-bin sister, still sitting in front of a handmade "the Dr, is in" sign, though this time she the patient.
This is the kind of show I like. I laughed, I felt, I thought. The cleverness with attaching current and relevant issues of the day with cartoon characters I loved as a child made it more impactful to me. If I had one complaint about the production, it would be I saw too many scenes with just a back of an actors head as my only view of their performance. Doing theatre in the semi round is difficult at best, and I mistakenly sat too close to the stage so the scenes that took place center were lost to me. So , sit directly in front for the best view. More to the point, go see this show.
Presented by the GCSC Players at the Amelia Center Theatre Lab July 21-30 , 7;30 Friday and Saturday, Sundays at 2.
Stephen LaDow is an actor, blogger,singer, barista , and supporter of the arts. He lives on the West End of Panama City. Follow his blog at Unfiltered-ness.com.
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