It looks like Anthony Rapp could be going directly from "La Vie Boheme" to The Great Pumpkin if he takes the title role in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, as reported by InTheater and confirmed to Playbill On-Line by a production spokesperson.
Rapp originated the role of Mark in Rent, which he's currently performing in London. Among others who have been offered roles: Kristin Chenoweth (Steel Pier, A New Brain), as Patty; B.D. Wong (M. Butterfly, As Thousands Cheer) as Linus; and Stanley Wayne Mathis (The Lion King) as Schroeder. No one is signed yet, however.
According to spokesperson Richard Kornberg (Aug. 18), Rapp sent in a taped audition to Charlie Brown's producers, which they liked very much. However, if Rapp were to do the role, he'd have to break his current London Rent contract.
Michael Mayer (Side Man and A View From The Bridge on Broadway) has been tapped to direct two projects produced by Fox Theatricals, Thoroughly Modern Millie (see the PBOL story, "Report: Bridge's Michael Mayer To Modernize Millie For B'way") and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
As reported by Variety and confirmed by Michael Leavitt of Fox Theatricals, the Charlie Brown will begin in Chicago with a national tour in November (casting notices for the show list Nov. 3), after rehearsals start there Oct. 12. St. Louis will be the next stop on the tour (Nov. 24-29, according to Fox), which should reach Broadway in late spring 1999 (casting notices are mentioning March 1999). Aldo Scrofani is co-producing. Charlie Brown is based on the Charles M. Schulz comic strip "Peanuts," which features such characters as luckless Charlie, Lucy the shrew, blanket-toting Linus and piano-playing Schroeder. Begun Oct. 2, 1950, the strip now appears in more than 2,600 newspapers internationally. The musical comprises loosely arranged songs and vignettes -- a slice of the lives of these elementary-school aged characters. Song include "Happiness Is," "Book Report" and "My Blanket and Me."
Leavitt confirms that this mounting will "take a 1990s perspective on the material. "We've purposely hired Michael Mayer, who's a young, hip director," Leavitt told Variety (Apr. 16). Leavitt told Playbill On-Line the script and songs would undergo few changes; it's the direction and perspective that will give the piece a `90's feel. As he told Variety, "The goal is...to capture the essence of the characters. We're not going to be limited to a lily-white cast."