Lake Zurich students stage unique version of Charlie Brown
Woodstock played by Allie Mitchell (left) and Snoopy, played by Kelly Schwantes, sing Friday during a dress rehearsal for Lake Zurich Middle School South's production of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown." | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:23AM
LAKE ZURICH — Lake Zurich Middle School South will be performing a completely unique rendition of the 1967 musical comedy “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” this weekend.
And the shows are nearly sold out, reported drama teacher Jacqueline Heinemann, encouraging residents to get their hands on tickets.
While Charlie and the gang will be up to their comical antics that fans have grown to love over the years, a majority of audience members can expect to watch a show that they haven’t seen before.
“It’s our job to kind of share that story, and it’s going to challenge the kids in a good way,” Heinemann said. “The audience is not coming in knowing a story line or the music, so we really have to have them fall in love with it.”
Those hoping to see the show can purchase tickets for one of three shows this weekend at Middle School South, 435 W. Cuba Road. Shows times are 7 p.m. tonight (Nov. 15), 7 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets will be sold at the door and cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and children. Doors open 30 minutes before the show starts.
Originally written for a cast of less than ten, Heinemann said that she revised it to involve more than 100 students.
Heinemann was able to do this by rewriting the musical numbers in a way that allowed them to be more ensemble-based.
Linus, for instance, is accompanied by blanket-wearing dancers as he sings and dances to “My Blanket and Me,” and “Suppertime” has both Snoopy and dancers with paw-printed aprons tap dancing and singing along to the music.
Heinemann wanted the music to be authentic as well.
“Our department is not run like your typical middle school, where you play a CD and the kids sing to it,” Heinemann said. “We have a 25-piece orchestra play along with us.”
Although Heinemann’s guided the students through three months of rehearsals and preparations, the musical is mostly student run.
Student directors and eighth-graders Megan Thackray and Madison Flores have helped guide the cast, crew, orchestra and sound technicians to make sure all pieces of the play come together.
“My philosophy is that when you set the bar high for these students, they reach it,” Heinemann said.