By LOIS KINDLE
The East Bay High School Drama Department is bringing the Peanuts gang to life Feb. 21-23 with its stage presentation of Snoopy! The Musical. It’s a delightful show for both kids and adults.
Based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz, the 70-minute musical will start at 7 p.m. at East Bay’s Kathryn Hill Auditorium, 7710 Big Bend Road, Gibsonton. The doors open at 6:30.
Admission is $7 at the door.
“This fantastic musical tribute to the characters of the beloved Peanuts comic strip is a romping, family friendly production filled with toe-tapping music not to be missed,” said Krista Blanchette, the show’s director and drama department head.
“The music was created by Larry Grossman, with lyrics written by Hal Hackady.
Snoopy! The Musical premiered in San Francisco in 1975 and has been a favorite of professional, regional and community theatres ever since. It premiered Off Broadway in 1982 and London’s West End the following year.
All of the popular Peanuts characters, created by Charles Schultz, will appear in the musical, Blanchette said.
“When looking at shows to include in our season, I always want to be able to include a large number of students as possible in the cast,” she said, adding large casts aren’t called for in every show. “With this one, I had the flexibility of casting many ensemble members, which thrilled me. This cast has more than 20 students, all of whom have significant stage time.”
Audiences are sure to love this production, especially folks who grew up reading the Charles Schultz comic or watching televised Peanuts animated specials. The musical is a great way to introduce younger kids to the beloved characters.
“The audience will meet everyone’s favorites, including Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Linus, Sally, plus the rest of the gang,” Blanchette said. “Our talented cast will perform more than a dozen songs that will make everyone laugh and think about life, growing up and their own childhoods.”
East Bay Theatre is an award-winning performing arts department housing the honors theatre group, Moving Minds Theatre Co.
The two groups produce five mainstage productions and compete at the District 9 Thespian and the Florida State Thespian festivals annually.
“To make the theatre arts more accessible to all students, the East Bay Theatre Department has introduced in-school performances of their productions for those students who are unable to attend the evening shows,” Blanchette said. “By giving these students the ability to see the production during the school day, we’re allowing them to experience the performing arts and build our theatre program at the same time. In addition, for every student ticket we sell for a matinee performance, we give that student a free ticket to one of our evening performances. The student can give that ticket to a parent or friend or choose to come back and see the performance again.”
Blanchette said the program is also a great educational opportunity for the cast and crew.
For more information on Snoopy! the Musical or the East Bay High School theatre program, call 813-671-5134, ext. 271, or email firstname.lastname@example.org/.