Peanuts Gang Live
On Stage at the OCTC
by Elizabeth Warren
Photos by Ben Gorman
celebrating the holiday season with fun, family, laughter and
music as Oak Creek Theatre Company presents Youre A Good
Man, Charlie Brown. The production plays Wednesdays Saturdays,
7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 2:00 p.m. through January 14 (except
Dec. 18-26) at Sedona Arts Centers Charles W. Raison Theatre.
the antics of Charles Schulzs sweetly neurotic Peanuts
Gang, the hit Broadway musical remains true to the comic strip
and to the expectations of its many fans.
wonderful show for all ages," says Producing Artistic Director
Mary Guaraldi. "Charlie, Snoopy, Lucy and the rest speak
to us across generations through the language of laughter."
The production stars
Rick Davis, Kathy Ferman, Ben Gorman, Nathaniel Hackmann, Elizabeth
Honer and Matt Howell, with Rebecca Cauthen as accompanist.
Brown) is fresh off a successful turn in OCTCs A Grand
Night for Singing, where the NAU vocal performance major "holds
the audience in his hands
" (Elaine Winter, Daily
Sun). Hackmann continues to add to a list of credits that include
Phoenix Childrens Theatre and Theatreworks. Ferman (Patty),
infamous for her turn as pooch Sylvia in OCTCs production
of the eponymous show, is also the co-founder of Childrens
Classic Caravan, a non-profit childrens theatre. Davis
(Snoopy) attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New
York. Seen last season in The Dining Room, he recently returned
from playing Romeo and Juliet with Arkansas Shakespeare.
who played 10 different roles in OCTCs production of The
Dining Room last season, is formerly from San Francisco, and
has performed at the Exit Theatre and Subterranean Shakespeare,
as well as with Shakespeare Sedona. Honer (Lucy), a vocal performance
major at NAU, was recently seen as Ms. Hannigan in Valley Youth
Theatres production of Annie. Howell (Linus) is a second
year performance major at NAU. Also first-chair flutist at Arizona
Allstate, he has performed at recitals in Japan. Accompanist
Cauthen teaches school and private piano in addition to accompanying
professionally. She performed in OCTCs productions of
Forever Plaid and A Grand Night for Singing. Her credits also
include The Fantasticks and Falsetto Land.
Mary Guaraldi heads up the same production team that brought
northern Arizona theatregoers the stunningly realized trip through
the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, A Grand Night for Singing.
A writer, teacher and producer, she has directed at regional
theatres around the country. Recent credits include OCTC hit
shows Always...Patsy Cline and Forever Plaid.
Eric Tucker has extensive performance credits throughout the
United States and is currently a faculty member at Northern
Arizona University. Choreographer Celeste Headlee, in addition
to her many theatre and music credits, sings at the Church of
the Red Rocks and is a reporter and Morning Edition host on
KNAU-FM in Flagstaff.
The production also
features a special treat a set co-designed by Edwin Nagy
and renowned abstract artist Marlys Powell. Seven vibrant, large-scale
paintings by Powell complement Nagys block-like interpretations
of Snoopys doghouse and Schroeders piano, among
other pieces. The effect is a colorful, exuberant playground
for the actors to bounce off of as the vignettes unfold.
"This has been
my first scene design work and it has been a blast," says
Powell. "Popping all those primary colors to set the stage
for those little Charlie Brown cartoon characters may end up
influencing my serious easel art. They have been
such fun works to have around in the studio."
to work collaboratively with a visual artist for some time,"
says Guaraldi. "When we decided to do Charlie Brown, I
knew Marlys would be the perfect choice. Her sense of movement
and color struck me as exactly the spirit I envisioned for this
all designed especially for Charlie Brown, will be available
for purchase through a combination of sales and silent auction.
Bids will be accepted now through January 14, 2001. Proceeds
will benefit Oak Creek Theatre Company.
"I hope that
auctioning off my canvases will help raise some of the much
needed funds to keep this viable and wonderful theatre in Sedona,"
are beautiful," says Guaraldi. "Its a thrill
to see them on our stage. Though well be sad to see them
go, their auction is helping us to find a new stage, so that
we can continue to produce theatre for northern Arizona."
to Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown is $15, with a $12
price available to members of SAC and a $9 price for children
and full-time students. Group rates are available, call for
details. Tickets can be purchased locally by phone at 520.282.3809,
or toll-free at 888.954.4442. Tickets are also available at
OCTC outlets: Rycus Corners, Bashas, Sedona Arts
Center Gallery and Gift Shop and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.
Give the gift of theatre with OCTC Gift Certificates. One size
fits all, they make perfect stocking stuffers for any one of
any age. There will be no performances of Charlie Brown for
the week of December 18 26.
All Wednesday night
performances are $10, based on seating availability. Sundays
feature the popular "Curtain Call" program, a post-show
discussion with the actors and director of the production. Dont
miss this behind-the-scenes peek into the world of professional
Dont miss OCTCs
next production, Later Life. Written by the fellow behind Sylvia
and The Dining Room, the comedy takes a keen and humorous look
at people of a certain age taking on a certain thing called
love. The New York Post calls it "charmingly clever, yet
immeasurably touching." Previewing January 14, the production
runs through February 25. Get your tickets fast, Later Life
only plays for four weeks!