The upcoming Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown has its Lucy, Schroeder and Patty, according to Variety. The trade publication reported on Aug. 31 that Ilana Levine (The Last Night of Ballyhoo) had signed on to play the crabby Lucy van Pelt, Kristin Chenoweth (Steel Pier) had contracted to be Patty, and Stanley Wayne Mathis (The Lion King) is on board to play the piano-playing Schroeder. Show spokesman Jim Byk said, however, that negotiations with the above players had not been finalized.
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. Variety said that talks are currently underway to extract Rapp from Rent one week early on Oct. 10. Rehearsals for Charlie Brown begin Oct. 12.
Michael Mayer (Side Man, A View From The Bridge) 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.
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. 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."