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You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999 Broadway Revival Cast) Cast Recording

4.4 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's easy to see why You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is so popular. With its simple set and small cast, it has become a staple of high-school drama and small-scale productions all over America. Of course, this doesn't necessarily translate into a grandiose Broadway show, but this Michael Mayer-directed production is enjoyable. Anthony Rapp (Rent) plays an effective Charlie and Ilana Levine's Lucy is fun. The lively "Snoopy" number (Roger Bart plays the canine's role) is the musical's highlight, but such tunes as "Beethoven Day" really date the musical. Some may find it simplistic; others will love it. Which probably makes it a lot like the "Peanuts" comic strip itself. --Jason Verlinde
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: March 9, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Masterworks Broadway
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000I8B1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kat on February 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When I originally bought this CD, I got it just for Kristin Chenoweth. I'd heard her sing "My New Philosophy," and hoped she would have more songs of her own. I was disappointed to find out that she only had small parts in other songs, and quickly cast the album away. But recently, I heard the local community theatre will be doing the show, so I got the CD out again and gave it another try... and was delighted!

The music is fun and classic, at the same time. Many have chosen the original, off-Broadway version because it brought back memories, or the way the characters are portrayed are more similar to the comic versions, but I disagree. As a younger fan of Broadway showtunes, I've grown up listening to the more pop and fun music of shows, like Thoroughly Modern Millie and Wicked. I've never listened to the older shows, prefering the newer CDs. So for me, this is a perfect choice. The songs are upbeat and fun, and the portrayals of the characters are right on the button.

Anthony Rapp is a perfect Charlie Brown. He's lonely, simple, and yet somewhat desperate for friendship and love. His joy in finding a friend in "The Doctor is In," or finding a pencil in the classic "Happiness" is contagious. Roger Bart is a hysterical Snoopy. He's fun and full of energy, especially in "Suppertime." Kristin Chenoweth, mentioned before, is an amazing Sally. She's fun and silly, and definately has an amazing voice. The CD is worth the cost just for her "My New Philosophy"! And Stanley Mathis is amazing. His energy and georgous voice is shown in "Beethoven Day" is just too fun! The only two problems are Ilana Levine, the unbelievably screechy Lucy, and B.D. Wong, whose lisp just gets in the way. But luckily, Ilana Levine gets better after a try or two, and B.D.
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By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I played charlie brown in a junior high production of this musical-- I wish I'd had these great arrangments to sing along to! This revival has been updated and reorchestrated to include a small ensemble orchestra as opposed to the previous recording's (now out of print) single pianist. Anthony Rapp proves his talent and versatility as he comes direct from the london company of Rent to this fantastic revival. He makes a fantastic Charlie. Fans of the original show will have a great time listening for new lyrics and musical arrangments, as well as the two new songs, "Beethoven Day" and "My New Philosophy". But happily, all the old favorites still remain, from "Snoopy" to "Happiness". A jazzed-up version of "Suppertime" brings down the house, and the title song has been redone to include a new segment for Charlie, "When do the good things start?" It fits well into the themes of the show, and brings this timeless musical into the new millenium. If you know this musical, you'll love this recording. If you don't know anything about this show, you don't know what you're missing.
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A Kid's Review on June 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I love this CD! I'm even thinking about trying to get my theatre company to put it on! The songs are awsome! The cast is awsome! Anthony Rapp makes Charlie Brown sound rather dreamy! Rodger Bart as Snoopy is so awsome! He has perfect pitch and just the perfect amount of verbrato in his voice! Kristin Chenoweth is totaly the best performance on this CD! Stanley Wayne Mathis makes Schroeder soulful, not just classical. Now for BD Wong and Ilana Levine. I personaly thought they were great! You other reveiwers seem to forget that they are actors telling a story and must sing and speak that way so they can show there acting skills! All in all this is one of the best CD's ever!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Broadway musicals are subject to fads. If an actor receives acclaim for performing a violin solo, the next show will have tap dancing violinists and the show after that will feature nude violinists seated on swings over the audience. Producers often think that Bigger is Always Better, and if a particular sound style was popular last year, it will be even more so this year.

Such was the fate visited upon YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN. The original opened off-Broadway with a single piano for accompaniment and simple sets reflective of the popular newspaper comic strip. With its mixture of innocence, wisdom, and unexpected pathos, it was a great success, running over one thousand five hundred performances in New York and enjoying numerous American tours. When these began to wind down, the show went on to considerable success in regional, educational, and community theatre.

Then came the 1999 Broadway production. Director Michael Mayer revised the script, deleting one character and adding the role of Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister, who was not in the original. Andrew Lippa revised the existing score, adding funky bass lines and a wailing saxophone and various light jazz and even gospel inflections; he also added a couple of new songs, including “Beethoven Day” (Schroeder and company) and “My New Philosophy” (Sally and Schroeder.) Jerry Mitchell created elaborate choreography, transforming the delicate “My Blanket and Me” from a charming and intimate dance solo to a special effects show-stopper, and the simple sets were discarded in favor of elaborate constructions by David Gallo.

Critics and audiences liked certain performers, but almost everyone agreed the revised material and the over-the-top production did not suit the material.
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