VINTAGE PLAYBILL: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 1971
By Brynn Cox
On this date in 1971, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Clark Gesner's musical based on the popular comic strip, opened on Broadway.
The musical originally premiered Off-Broadway in 1967 in a well-received production starring Gary Burghoff (who later rose to fame as Radar O'Reilly on "M*A*S*H") in the title role. The surprise hit played several years downtown before transferring to Broadway.
The Broadway cast starred Dean Stolber, who created the role of Harvey Johnson in Bye Bye Birdie a decade earlier. Stolber was offered the part just ten days before performances began, while he was employed full-time. He accepted the role and worked by day as a lawyer and by night as Charlie Brown.
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown opened at the John Golden Theatre on June 1, 1971, but the new cast in the new Broadway setting did not garner a warm reception. The production would play just 32 performances.
The musical remains a popular choice in regional and educational productions. A Tony-nominated 1999 revival featured additional material from Andrew Lippa and Tony-winning performances from Kristin Chenoweth and Roger Bart.
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