Sunday, October 6, 2013

MT Soundtracker: Day 6

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (1967)

New Broadway Cast Recording (1999)

Music & Lyrics: Clark Gesner

Synopsis: Based on Charles M. Schultz's comic, Peanuts, Charlie Brown is trying to discover what it means to be a 'good man' and how he can achieve it. The musical gives snapshots into the lives of the different characters. 

The most well-known song from the show (the one that perhaps works best on its own, i.e. outside of the context of the show) is probably My New Philosophy. It's a great character song with witty lyrics and Kristin Chenoweth who sings it on the soundtrack has a very unique voice. This song was added in for the Broadway revival as the character Sally Brown replaced the character of Patty. The soundtrack is full of sweet, childish exploration of big questions in life. The songs also reveal a lot about the characters: with as few as six characters, it is possible to explore them in depth. There is a whole song (The Book Report) dedicated to Peter Rabbit and his resemblance to Robin Hood - just to put that out there as I found it rather entertaining. In addition, I enjoyed the way Glee Club Rehearsal was constructed with a repeated chorus under the speech-sung solos. 

I had absolutely no idea that You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown was as old as from the 60's. I had only been aware of the 1999 revival which resulted in Kristin Chenoweth's (Sally Brown) Tony win. The musical was first produced off-Broadway, it went to the West End the year after and it made its Broadway debut in 1971. 

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