Texas State University Department of Theatre and Dance in association with Harrison/Bowman New Works Commission will bring The World According to Snoopy, a revised version of the classic musical Snoopy!!!, to the stage in February.
The musical will have its world premiere at Texas State University February 14–19 at the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre and make its regional premiere at Theatre Under the Stars (Zilkha Hall) in Houston, Texas, June 7–18. The premiere coincides with the 50th anniversary of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
The World According to Snoopy is a re-imagining of the original and London productions of the musical Snoopy!!!, which features music and lyrics by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady and a book by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw, and Michael L. Grace.
According to press notes, “This musical features Charles Schulz’s iconic Peanuts characters Charlie Brown, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock, under the guidance of the consummate showman Snoopy, as they sing and dance their way through witty philosophies about love and life as only The Peanuts gang can.”
In addition to songs like “Just One Person,” “Edgar Allan Poe,” and “Poor Sweet Baby,” this new production will introduce a new song for Sally with music by Grossman and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; Big Fish). The production will feature “fresh orchestrations and a revised book.”
The World According to Snoopy was first produced in a workshop presentation by the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance as part of the Harrison/Bowman New Works Commission in spring 2015. It was directed by the head of musical theatre at Texas State University, Kaitlin Hopkins (Noises Off, Batboy, Bare), choreographed by Adam Cates (Anastasia, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), with musical supervision by Snoopy composer, Grossman, and musical direction and orchestrations by Greg Bolin.
Hopkins has a familial connection to Peanuts, as her late father, Gene Persson, was co-producer of both the original 1967 Off-Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, as well as the Tony-winning Broadway revival in 1999. Hopkins, Cates, and Grossman all contributed to the revised book.
The family-friendly show comprises a cast of Texas State University musical theatre students: Ryne Nardecchia (Snoopy), Nick Eibler (Woodstock), Grayson Samuels (Charlie Brown), Maggie Bera (Lucy), Adria Swan (Peppermint Patty), Raegan Roberts (Sally), Ty Taylor (Linus), and covers Jacob Burns, Daniel Miller, Grace Muawad, and Cristina Oeschger.
This production also features the work of Michelle Ney (scenic designer), Sally E. Rath (costume designer), Ethan Jones (lighting designer), Phillip Owen (sound designer), Erin Kehr (props), Andrew McIntyre (projections), Greg Bolin (orchestrations and musical director), and Cassie Abate (associate choreographer).