There are certain characters and stories that have a special place in almost everyone’s hearts and one of the first that comes to mind is Charlie Brown. Our family loves this Charles M. Schulz character and we’ve all seen the popular movies more times than we can count. When I heard that Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park would be performing You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, I wondered if it would be appropriate to take our two younger children (ages 5 and 6) to see the show.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is incredibly family-friendly, filled with heart, and makes for a memorable night out in Cincinnati.
Based on the comic strip “Peanuts,” You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is an endearing story that includes all of your favorite characters, from Charlie Brown himself, to Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and even Snoopy. The musical puts a fun spin on each of these parts (think Snoopy as a person and Charlie Brown with a beard), but after about three seconds you won’t care at all. Each person – and dog – wins you over with their unique personalities, whimsical songs, and glimpses of their characteristics that you know and love from the original Peanuts gang.
The music tells the story in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and the play flows with different vignettes, each one with a nod to story line from the movies and comic strips. Don’t expect the same songs or exact tales as the originals, but do expect to be engaged from beginning to end. We especially loved Snoopy – a man sporting some wild, dark hair, a “Joe Cool” t-shirt, and a bark that sounded remarkably like the cartoon. He does talk, and even sings, and will have you clapping and rocking out as he anxiously awaits his supper.
We also enjoyed the overall moral of the show, as Charlie Brown tries to realize his self-worth and the true meaning of happiness. Even our young children were able to simplify it to see that Charlie Brown was sad and lonely, but by the end, he knew he had a pretty good life and plenty of reasons to be happy.
The musical is a little over two hours long, and that includes a 20-minute intermission. We arrived early and were happy to find a craft station where our children could make their own kites. They then headed over to a large wall that had been turned into a Snoopy cartoon station, where guests of all ages could try and master the art of drawing everyone’s favorite dog. Most performances at Playhouse In The Park are meant for adults, but You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown is very appropriate for children ages five and older. You know your children best, so if you think they can sit through the show, know that they will love the content, music, and characters. And definitely don’t forget to visit the array of snacks for sale during intermission, because some Graeter’s Ice Cream is just what our little ones needed to be rejuvenated for Act II.
I’ve always loved Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park, its historic location, and what it means to our city. I’ve looked forward to the day we could visit with our children, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown was the perfect opportunity to do so! The show runs now through May 18th and there are even 4 pm performance times that are ideal for children, and tickets are still available!