Last night, I took some “Chuck time” and watched a drama club performance of the classic You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Heatly School in Green Island. It was a fun show, and it reminded me of all the moments of participating in grade school and high school and college theater projects.
It also reminded me of how much fun and joy the original Broadway musical – and its soundtrack – brought every time I heard it. And mind you, I’m a big Peanuts fan, so watching this show actually made me feel quite nostalgic.
In fact, for some vague reason, I remember seeing an auditorium high school performance of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown way back in 1972 as a third grader at Corinth Elementary School (school #5 on the list of the Twelve). And because I remembered my relatives having this soundtrack album and playing it often around the house, I was able to sing along with all the classic tracks – “Suppertime” and “Happiness” and “My Blanket and Me” – well, I got about half a lyric out of my mouth before my teacher, Mrs. Grippe, who was sitting next to me, told me to shush for the remainder of the performance.
And, in my not-so-humble opinion, I appreciated shows like You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in that they allowed students the chance to appreciate theater and the arts. And once you go down that route, once you fall down the rabbit hole of drama, many things happen to you.
You develop a strong memory – I mean, how else do you learn your lines so that they’re script-perfect every performance?
You develop commitment to rehearsals and doing the best job possible.
You develop strong communication and interpersonal skills, working with your co-stars and your director.
And you also learn that there are many different components to a successful performance – everything from lighting to stage managing, from costume design to prop construction.
And all those skills – both personal and interpersonal – will help kids in their future dreams, designs, dedications and determinations.
I know there’s a 1999 soundtrack that has new songs and new performances, and I’m sure that’s why when I watched the Heatly School drama club perform this show, there were songs they performed that I did not remember from this soundtrack album. That’s fine. Their version is for their generation, this version is for mine.
So I hope you’ll excuse me as I find room in the afterlife jukebox to add this classic LP to the post-mortem playlist.
If I can take anything with me to the next great journey, at least I can have these great songs and a ton of fantastic memories.