Entertainment

“PEANUTS” Characters come to life in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown


This February, 9 Works Theatrical takes you back to those good ol’ days when baseball games, book reports, kite-flying and glee club rehearsals were all the craze as it brings to life the timeless characters from Charles M. Schulz’ popular comic strip “PEANUTS” via the Tony award-winning musical, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN

Charlie Brown can’t seem to win the heart of the elusive Little Red-Haired Girl, nor his friend Lucy, a bossy, crabby little tyrant who dispenses “Little Known Facts” and is convinced that she could be Queen someday. Lucy’s all-time crush is the sensitive piano-playing Schroeder who is an admirer of Beethoven. Meanwhile, Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s wise-cracking yet lovable dog, and Linus, Charlie Brown’s blanket-toting best friend, daydream all day as their friends battle with kites, school, and for Sally, Charlie Brown’s lil’ sis, getting a “D” in last week’s homework.

Told through a series of recognizable vignettes inspired by Schulz’s comic strips, the musical looks into an average day in the life of Charlie Brown and draws from the richness and universality of his everyday situations – making it the perfect family musical that will surely resonate with audiences young and old.

Playing the role of Charlie Brown is 9 Works Theatrical’s Artistic Director Robbie Guevara who was recently seen onstage as Uncle Max in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. As an actor, he appeared in MISS SAIGON MANILA, Asian & UK Tour, MAN OF LA MANCHA, I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT NOW CHANGE, SWEENEY TODD, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FOOTLOOSE, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and DISNEY”S CINDRELLA and MULAN, just to name a few. He is also an established director for the stage.

One of the country’s most versatile performing artists, Carla Guevara-Laforteza will be playing the role of the bossy and crabby Lucy. Carla was recently seen as Maureen Johnson in 9 Works Theatrical’s production of RENT, as well as having played the Sour Kangaroo in SEUSSICAL and Sister Berthe in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Carla was also part of the MISS SAIGON London Cast 1995-1997 as Kim/Gigi understudy and has played lead roles in THE BAKER’S WIFE, TAMING OF THE SHREW, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC, AVENUE Q, and SPELLING BEE, among many others. She is under the management of Johnny Manahan of Star Magic.

Playing the role of Charlie Brown’s lovable dog Snoopy is Lorenz Martinez whose last appearance onstage was as Benny in 9 Works Theatrical’s RENT, as well as Herr Zeller in SOUND OF MUSIC. Other acting credits include Rogers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA Asian Tour, HONG KONG DISNEYLAND, CAMELOT, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and the Netherlands production of MISS SAIGON, being the youngest to perform the role of the Engineer.

Appearing in his first 9 Works Theatrical musical is singer-actor and TV personality Franco Laurel who will be playing the role of the blanket-toting Linus. A former host of EEZY DANCING and KEEP ON DANCING, he has since found his true calling in theater, appearing as the younger brother of Rama in RAMA AT SITA, Ugly in Trumpets’ HONK, THE UGLY DUCKLING, and starring roles in ST. LOUIS LOVES DEM FILIPINOS, JOSEPH THE DREAMER, and Rep’s SWEENEY TODD, among others.

Returning to the stage after a very long acting sabbatical are veteran actors Tonipet Gaba and Sweet Plantado-Tiongson – who join Robbie, Carla, Franco and Lorenz in bringing to life this timeless classic.

Touted as GMA 7’s resident “Kuya” and foodie, Tonipet Gaba, is a highly successful and multi-awarded TV host whose credits include ART ANGEL, SABADABADOG, TARA LET’S EAT and GMA NEWS TV’s POP TALK. A 3-time Star Awards winner for Best Children’s show host, Tonipet’s stage credits include lead roles in KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN, BLOOD BROTHERS, OLIVER, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and THE LITTLE MERMAID. For this production, he will be playing the sensitive piano-playing Schroeder.

Playing Charlie Brown’s younger sister Sally is Sweet Plantado-Tiongson who was the Musical Director for Vocals in 9 Works Theatrical’s SWEET CHARITY. Sweet is a performing-recording artist who is part of the Philippine premier vocal group, THE CompanY. Her stage credits include lead roles in THE LITTLE MERMAID, HONK! THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, JOSEPH THE DREAMER, and N.O.A.H, among many others.

Also returning to the stage is 9 Works Theatrical’s Marketing and PR Director Toff de Venecia who was last seen as Hong/Yao in REP’s MULAN JR. His other acting credits include EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES as Mr. Sew and Disney’s ALADDIN JR. as Iago. He also appeared as Stripe in Ateneo Blue Repertory’s HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS, Pan in BATBOY and a Thespian in the Asian premiere of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. He will be playing the role of Linus at certain performances.

For this production, 9 Works Theatrical has invited veteran actor Michael Williams to helm the show as its esteemed director. Michael has had numerous directorial credits with Repertory Philippines and other theater companies, which include SWEENEY TODD, PROPOSALS, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN, LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE, and with his own theater company, Theater Down South. He is thrilled to be working with 9 Works Theatrical for the first time.

The Artistic Team is led by Michael Williams (Director), Toff de Venecia (Assistant Director), Joseph Tolentino (Musical Director – Instrumentation), Sweet Plantado (Musical Director – Vocals), Deana Aquino (Choreographer), Mio Infante (Scenographer), Martin Esteva (Lighting Designer), Chuck Ledesma (Sound Designer), Mio Infante and Twinkle Zamora (Costume Designers), Richard Lazaro (Photographer), and Larry Palma (Graphic Designer).

The Production Team is led by Santi Santamaria (Executive Producer), Anna Santamaria (Company Manager), Toff de Venecia (Marketing and PR Director), Jonjon Martin (PR Manager), Carlos Canlas (HR Manager), Pamela Imperial (Production Manager), and Jojo Amboy (Stage Manager).

Based on the Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz, with Book, Music, and Lyrics by Charles Gesner, Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer, Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa, Original Direction by Michael Mayer, and originally produced in New York by Arthur Whitelaw and Gene Persson, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN is an outrageously funny and heartwarming musical fit for the entire family and will keep audiences laughing at the edge of their seats.

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN will be shown from February 11 to March 3 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza Makati. Friday shows at 8pm, Saturday shows at 330pm and 8pm, and Sunday shows at 330pm.

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