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Lansing Catholic works to present their musical onstage for in-person and virtual audiences

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 7:35 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The curtain is parting at Lansing Catholic for their musical, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.

But a lot of protocols had to be put in place to make sure the performance wasn’t just a good one...but safe as well.

It’s a musical with your favorite characters like...Lucy, Linus, Sally, Snoopy and of course Charlie Brown himself.

“It’s a day in the life of Charlie Brown going to school, his relationship with his friends and just kind of how nothing goes Charlie Browns way, but we still love him anyway,” said Will Castle, who plays the character of Schroeder. “I think the message of the musical is just one a friendship to remember even if life gets your down, we’re always friends with each other and we really need that right now.”

For the cast of six seniors, that couldn’t be more true.

“I think it’s really special that we even got the opportunity to be able to do the show, because our shows last year got cut short. And because it’s only seniors, it was a miracle that we even got the chance to because lots of other schools can’t,” said Olivia Brodin, who plays Lucy. “So it was really good to be with each other and work hard and all do something that we love. It’s kind of our little piece of goodness and joy out into the world for everyone to see.”

For Jan Tietsort, the director, she remembers what it was like last year when she had to deliver the news that the musical had to be cut short due to covid.

This year she was determined to find a way for the show to go on.

“I don’t want the seniors this year to go through that, so I went to our principal and president said, hey, I have a plan. can we do this? and they said, sure. and here we are.,” explained Tietsort.

You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown has six parts and a simple set- something Jan figured would work for the socially distanced blocking and dancing.

“We try to keep distance, we decided that the dancing we would not do any partner dancing. "

The cast not only wears masks...but has special ones that allows them to sing more clearly.

“They just give us a lot more room, and we’re able to breathe better,” said Emma Stewart, who plays Sally. “It also helps with the mics because with a small masks, it wouldn’t be very easy to actually pick up sound, because it would be so muffled, so these make it a lot easier.”

In a time of a pandemic and quarantines, Jan has two high school juniors playing understudies who are ready to jump into any role at a minutes notice.

“In the beginning, it was a little bit overwhelming when we had to learn all the lines by a certain day, but I am just really glad to be here,” said Abby Morris who plays an understudy for the girl characters.

“Just being here, practicing the musical, even though there may be a chance that I may not get to see the stage as one of the characters. it just feels really good to be apart of this,” added Owen Spencer, the understudy for the boy characters.

Even with social distancing and restrictions, the audience is in for a treat when they see the musical with its heart felt songs, humorous numbers and of course a tap sequence.

Tyler plays the role of Snoopy who says its been fun to bring the silent character to life.

“Personally, for me, when I think of him in the cartoons, he is kind of quiet and like, he doesn’t really talk that much. But like, in the musical version, he’s very happy with his life and he’s very content and he has a huge imagination, and just like, loves life,” explained Tyler Miller, “He’s also like, very vocal about it so that’s something that’s been super cool to kind of meet that character on another level.”

With the precautions the school is taking, there are limited seats available to see this show on stage in person.

“We have four shows and the opening night and closing night, the kids decided they wanted to have a live audience so 74 people can come, which is wonderful,” said Jan. “Then on Saturday, and the second Friday, that’s a live stream and anyone can come to that and when we hope people do.”

Not only will you be entertained by the fun live performance, but the cast hopes the audience leaves with some hope and inspiration after the curtain call.

The overall message of this is something we really need right now,” said Erick Watson, who plays Charlie Brown. “Even when life you know, kicks you while you’re down, you know, there’s still the positive things and I think that if people do come see the show, they can kind of see that for themselves and maybe spark a little light.”

Opening night for the musical is next Friday March 5th.

Tickets for both the in-person performances and live streamed shows are still available at https://lansingchs.booktix.com/?fbclid=IwAR1CJG9b_ZfEj52S0pQNwziPkY_yZ3Yizckv5RXoOShpwRzedGGSjl_fRKI.

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