Remembering Life as a Kid and Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

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My friend at the dentist’s office, Nick, told me all about it last fall when I went to get my molar crowned in gold. I know! What other kind of crown is there, right? Wouldn’t have anything less. I have this Royalty Complex, you see.

So, anyway. Nick went on to explain that the theatre, of which he is integrally involved, had selected for their 2011 season musical, CHARLIE BROWN. I thought, “Oh!” ‘Cause I was sort of hoping for something like “Cats” or “Chicago” or, well, something… big. My smiling cheeks slackened somewhat but I think I kept it together enough that Nick didn’t notice and said something to the effect of, “Cool! That should be fun.” All the while, really wanting “Cats” or Chicago” or, well, something… bigger.

When, a month ago,¬†the notice about the upcoming musical, from the San Juan Community Theatre popped into my computer’s inbox, I thought, “Okay. I guess I should go, because, for one, my dear friend Jill Urbach was in going to be in it, as was Nick.” Plus, the tickets were so reasonably priced that barring a flood or something–a better invitation, even–I would sort of have to go. ‘Cause that’s how I roll. ūüôā

After purchasing front row, center seats online, I called Bob at work and told him.

“Bob. You busy?”

“What’s up?”

“I just got us tickets to the theatre this weekend.”

“Here?” (See, we’d just been in Seattle for a theatre event, hence Bob’s question. He’s really not an airhead. That’s my job.)

“Uh huh.”

Now, say this together, ’cause we did.

“What are we seeing?” That was Bob.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“Charlie Brown.” That was me.

We said the next thing together too so please, play along…

“Charlie Brown?” Bob, not exactly thrilled.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†“Won’t that be fun?” Me, trying to sell it!

“I’m busy. I have a driver at the door. He needs a check.” This is how Bob dismisses me when he doesn’t want to talk about something. I sort of think it’s brilliant because we can, then, each of us, go to our opposite corners and consider the next round. (I’m a huge boxing fan too, for those of you who weren’t aware.)

So, the DAY arrived. We were both worn down from physical activities. Working around the house, for me. Bob had spent the entire day at the golf course with a group of guys repairing the #8 hole tee box. A volunteer project that was only supposed to take “a couple of hours and then “I’ll be home to work around the house.”

It even rained.

“What are you wearing?” Bob asked me when I stepped out of the shower.

“Sheesh. Jeans! Like, what else?” I blubbered out in self-defense.

“Me too.”

Phew. The thought that wearing a black dress, black tights and black pumps sounded like sheer torture. Plus, krikey! The rain had gone from spitting to crying big-baby-tear drops. No. I was NOT about to dress up.

By the time we get to the theatre, it’s pouring. I’m feeling pretty happy about the outfit I’ve chosen, boots and all. However, when I get to the Will Call for our tickets, we realize that our front row, center seats have been traded¬†down to the back of the theatre! Grrrr.

After some finagling (And, I don’t think the ticket issuer, who will remain anonymous, will file formal charges. I mean, really, I only nicked his fingernail when he went to block my arm as I grappled for a handful of hair in order to pull his head closer for a “look-see” of his error and our horrific seat exchange!), we got front row seats, albeit in the left section.

But, I digress…

After sitting down and glaring at the people laughing gleefully in OUR seats, Bob told me to “behave” or else he would leave. I thought that was a bit harsh. Don’t you? The director, Merritt Olson, of the theatre did his usual little gig about tourism and asked who came for the show specifically and… “Hey, Merritt! I didn’t get the seats I requested ONLINE!” …how many people were staying at B&Bs, blah blah blah.

The conductor taps his baton and the score opens with that ever familiar plunky tune from when I was a kid, and, all of the sudden the issue about our seats faded into a flotsam of amazing set design, wonderful lighting, a score that stirred memories of childhood in front of our TV, the one with rabbit-ear antennae and a dial that clicked to UHF and VHF and hissed off and got all snowy if someone accidentally brushed by the antennae and knocked it out of place.

I sat back and got swept away in the characters. My friend Jill played Sally. Her costuming rung of Broadway perfection as did Lucy’s, Linus’s, Schroeder’s (Nick), and Charlie Brown’s. The music was flawless. The actors’ voices sent a blanket of warm chills through my scalp, that’s how great they all were. I got carried away to a point in time, a place I hadn’t been in years.

The show was incredible. And, you know, if I wasn’t going out of town next week, I’d go again. Bob and I had such a marvelous couple of hours. And, of course, the entire audience gave the show a standing ovation. It deserved much, much¬†more, like, I don’t know, jumping up and down and clapping. It was fabulous. We spent the following two days humming songs and saying, “Wasn’t that a great show?” And, it was.

It’s so worth the time. If there’s anyway at all for you¬†to see YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE¬†BROWN! Go see it. You will not be disappointed… even if you sit at the back of the theatre!

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