St. Josephs High School in Red Deer is opening their very first musical at the Welikoklad Event Centre this week.
The school is putting on a revised version of the Broadway musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
St. Joseph Performing Arts Teacher and Director Jennifer Cocolicchio said the musical tells the story of a day-in-the-life of Charlie Brown, the beloved comic-strip character created by Charles M. Shulz.
“It is a series of vignettes, kind of like the way the comic strips have been,” Cocolicchio said. “He (Charlie Brown) is seemingly having the worst day of his life. He crashes his kite; he loses the baseball game; he can’t get started on his book report and everything seems to be going wrong. In the end, we end up realising that happiness can be found in the smallest moments and the seemingly most insignificant things in our life.
“He gives us everlasting hopefulness of things that are better to come.”
Putting on the first production at St. Joseph High School was key for Cocolicchio because a robust fine arts program was one of the assets she wanted the school to have right away.
“When we opened, it was about building from scratch and it was an exciting new proposition,” she said. “We decided to do a new production right off the bat. It is a smaller cast than what I was doing at Notre Dame, but we still have 12 in the cast and six technicians as well.”
Part of the reason the show was chosen is because it allows the cast to be expanded to include other Shulz characters. The show also allows features opportunities for musicians and technicians.
“It has an orchestra, Morgan McKey is our music director and he will be leading the orchestra,” Cocolicchio said. “Ian LeMay is our technical director and Morgan, Ian and I have been working on this since June of last year.”
She added the three of them had to be creative given the limitations of a new program, but the results have been positive.
“The kids have worked so hard on this show and their characters,” she said. “They have given them depth and background and the technicians have created a beautiful set. I think it really honours what Charles Shultz created with his comic strips.”
The show runs at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29th, Nov. 30th, Dec. 1st and Dec. 2nd. There is also a matinee performance on Saturday, Dec. 2nd at 1 p.m.
“This play is about finding happiness and the things that are worthwhile in life. I hope people can come out and share a moment with their families,” Cocolicchio said.