HAPPINESS is the HHS Drama Club

Center: Charlie Brown (Jacob Escala) and Company
Photo by Deja Gutierrez

The HHS Drama Club dazzled audiences once again with its spring performance of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Based on Charles Schulz’s classic Peanuts, the fun-loving musical was enjoyed by adults, teens, and children alike.

Performed three nights and a one-afternoon matinee, the musical was made up of highlights of funny moments from the Peanuts gang. As the curtain opened,  Charlie Brown (Jacob Escala) was running late, and soon the full cast joined him in an energetic “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” rendition of song and dance.

Immediately following, the sassy Lucy van Pelt (senior Kelly Nee) came out with a bang and serenaded Schroeder (junior Matt Smith) in an unforgettable performance.  Linus (senior AJ Amella) sang alongside his blanket, which shockingly later came to life in a dance number as senior Kristina Silva beautifully portrayed Linus’s blanket.  The first act came to a close with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, and Linus all working on a book report in a musical number that showcased each individual character perfectly.  Meanwhile, Sally Brown (senior Abby Dekker) and Snoopy (junior Fernando Leyva) were chasing rabbits around them, adding to the comedy of the number.

As the second act began, Charlie Brown tried (but failed) to lead his baseball team to victory in order to win the heart of a little redheaded girl with whom he is infatuated.  It is in this act that Snoopy (Fernando Leyva) simply encaptured the audience with his high energy, Broadway-like performance of “Suppertime.”

The entire cast, throughout the musical, displayed nothing short of high energy and fun-loving songs. The amazing orchestra, directed by HHS music teacher, Mr. Kurt Zimmermann, performed with a professional air.

The choreography by Nicole Rizzo was one of the best from HHS productions. Each member of the cast, whether it be a lead or a member of the chorus, delivered a full-of-energy performance, bringing the stage to life with each elaborate number. The singing, directed by Mrs. Barbara Fersch, was consistently awe-inspiring.

Overall, producer Mr. Michael Batche and director Mrs. Kerri Batche brought the 2018-2019 year of HHS drama to a spectacular close. Also on an interesting note, Mrs. Batche, the director, paid homage to her past acting days with this show in which she formerly portrayed the lead role of Lucy.

The show is truly one of the best HHS has ever produced. The musical came to an unforgettable end with the full company singing “Happiness,”  reminding cast and audience alike that happiness is singing together when the day is through, and reminding departing senior cast members that happiness is those who sing with you.

Linus (AJ Amella), Lucy (Kelly Nee), Schroeder ( Matt Smith), and Sally (Abigail Dekker)

Photo by Deja Gutierrez
Snoopy ( Fernando Leyva) and Sally (Abigail Dekker)

Photo by Deja Gutierrez

HHS Students React to the Spring Musical:

  • I thought it was really good and cute. —Brianna Csengeto.
  • I was generally stunned at how good the choreography was. —Shawn Gesregan
  • Overall, I thought that the play was VERY good, and very well cast. Out of all four years of high school, I thought this was the best play of them all. — Lindsay Azzopardi
  • I thought at first it was a little “eh,” but after Snoopy came out and was being crazy, it was a pretty nice play. — EJ Feliciano
  • The play overall had a very fun and innocent vibe and I think the actors did a good job of keeping a childish theme throughout the musical. —Timothy Forst

Reaction to the singing and acting:

  • I thought the acting and singing were of top-tier quality and the play was awesome. —Anthony Breiner
  • I really enjoyed the group performances. Seeing everyone together, as well as hearing how good they sounded together, was one of my favorite parts.  —Paige Switzer
  • I thought that Kelly fit the part of Lucy extremely well. She has a way of getting really into a character that makes a show so enjoyable to watch. Her snarky comments toward Charlie Brown and her lovely voice made the play awesome. My favorite scenes of Kelly’s include when she sings to Schroeder as he plays his piano, talking about how they should get married and the scene where Linus steals her pencil while they sing in the choir. –Jaclyn Rodick
  • Fernando is an amazing actor. No matter what role he’s given, he always knows how to really put on a show.

Specific scenes enjoyed:

  • When nobody was interested in singing “Home on the Range” and Schroeder was sad. —Brianna Csengeto.
  • Lucy, when she dances and sings when the piano is being played. —Megan Redstone
  • I enjoyed the scene where the kids skipped down the aisle and joined the stage. I enjoyed it because it caught me off guard but it was amazing.—  Adebusayo Adebayo
  • “Suppertime” because backstage, everyone was dancing to the song and the energy was fantastic. —Sarah Donnelly
  • I personally enjoyed “Suppertime” because the music was phenomenal and the choreography was amazing; if you were backstage watching everyone during the scene, every single person was dancing to it. Every time Fernando performed the song, even during rehearsals, everyone backstage was either doing the dance, a kickline or just going crazy. Another scene I enjoyed was the kite scene. The music was wonderful. People backstage would actually sing when all the chorus people came in. I would grab my friend Conan, and we would put our arms around each other and just sing with them. We would point to the kite. Also during that scene on Saturday, they accidentally broke the kite, which went with the music. So on Sunday evening, they did it again on purpose and when it snapped, everyone behind the scenes was cheering. —Kaitlyn Donnelly
  • “The kite” and “Suppertime” were my favorites. The cast and crew backstage would all sing during the chorus part of the kite, and we would all dance during “Suppertime.” It was so much fun and a nice bonding experience. —Luisa Kazanfer
  • I think that Fernando is a really skilled actor. His solo scene was one of the best, although, in some parts, they made Snoopy seem evil. —Paige Switzer
  • I enjoyed the scene where Linus steals Lucy’s pencil and all the characters start to yell at each other; I  thought it was funny and cute. —Timothy Forst
  • “Suppertime” was hilarious. Fernando was an amazing dancer and a good singer. —Ryan Garrison
  • I loved Kelly’s character, Lucy. She played it so well and fit the act perfectly, especially her solo songs. —Madison Post

Reaction to the stage set and costumes:

  • The costumes looked really good; l felt like I was watching a Charlie Brown Movie. Brianna Csengeto.
  • I thought the set was nice and it did not have to be changed through the play, but the blocks with “a” “b” “c” “d” “e” “f” on them were out of order and drove my OCD crazy all night!! But the play was enjoyable and was probably my favorite. –Ben Bibeault

Reaction to Middle School students as part of the HS company:

  • I thought that was a great choice because the Peanuts gang are already children, to begin with. FUN FACT: The original Peanuts title created by Schultz was originally going to be called Li´l Folks, but Schulz feared copyright claims and instead went with Peanuts as in the Peanut Gallery were people sat to watch and laugh in the Howdy Doody Show, and the rest is history. —Anthony Breiner
  • It’s a good thing middle school kids are getting involved with the drama club. –Danielle Fawthrop
  • I think having the middle schoolers in the plays gives them experience so that they’re not just thrown into it when high school comes, and maybe in the future, they’ll get a lead role. —Megan Bolger
  • I think it’s great that middle school students were also in the play. They did an awesome job. —  Adebusayo Adebayo

The cast and crew react to the audience:

  • The second-day audience was the best; they just kept cheering on. The best crowd we have ever had. —Samad  Butt
  • The audience on Saturday stood out in particular.  Saturday shows usually do not have the best attendance, but this Saturday was different.  They were a huge crowd and were very involved with the story, laughing often and giving numerous rounds of applause.
  • Liz Tarsitano

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *