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LA Theater Review

Snoopy! The Musical

This 1975 musical, based on Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts," with music by Larry Grossman and lyrics by Hal Hackaday, was obviously meant to be a sequel to the earlier and highly successful show "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," though it had different author-composers. (Curiously, the program for this production contains no information whatsoever on the show's creators—not even their names: Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw, and Michael Grace.)

The material, at least in this rendition, seems more serviceable than inspired, and it needs brilliance in the execution that it doesn't get here. Director Kelly Boczek and choreographer Cloie Wyatt Taylor too often go for the cutesy and the obvious, and they seem more intent on following the predictable standard musical comedy template than in exploring Schulz's "Peanuts" world or in finding a point of view on the material. The mostly young cast is attractive, engaging, and enthusiastic, with noteworthy performances from Talo Silveyra as a bright-eyed, athletic Snoopy; Nadia Ahern as an acerbic, sometimes Bronx-flavored Lucy Van Pelt who somehow captures Lucy's familiar teeth-gritted grimace when Charlie Brown tries her patience too far; and Leslie Duke as an ardent and perky Peppermint Patty. Travis Terry seems a bit long in the tooth to be playing Charlie Brown, but after the initial impression, he nimbly captures the key elements of the fatalistic but resilient Charlie.

The show attempts to appeal to children, but there was bored fidgeting by some of the kids in the audience, and at intermission one little girl dragged her mother out of the theater, declaring, "I don't want to stay till the end." Given a choice, I might have left too.

Presented by and at the Knightsbridge Theatre, 1944 Riverside Drive, L.A.
July 25–Aug. 23. Sat., 5 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. (323) 667-0955.

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