Adolescent Angst as Charlie Brown and Gang Grow Up

In the title of his perennial best selling book, “All you ever need to know you learned in kindergarten,” Robert Fulghum holds steadfast to this philosophy. This is pretty much the case in “Dog sees God – confessions of a teenage blockhead,” by Burt V. Royal. Directed by Maxwell Peters, in collaboration with a most creative, dedicated group of teens, spearheaded by Joey Maya Safchik , Chandler David, and Charlotte Weinman, executive producers, (Worst First Kiss Productions), the entire cast and crew present a remarkably timely story of life, love and loss, as seen from a teenage perspective.

Imparting pearls of wisdom and gems of insight from the annals of comic strips by the beloved Charles Schultz, the Peanuts group are now in high school and ready to take the world by storm.  But, of course, issues once taboo, such as sexuality, identity, belonging , tolerance, acceptance, now get in the way.  Charlie Brown (“CB”), played by Chandler David, finds his world turned topsy turvy as he laments the loss of his beloved beagle. He  seeks advice and solace from his sister (Joey Maya) and tightly knit group of confidants and friends (Corey Fogelmanis; Gabriel Nunag; James Sanger; Judy Durkin; Charlotte Weinman; and Zoe D’Andrea), as they do their best to philosophize and console, rather than bully or tease. A new perspective is given on CB’s inner strength,  spirit, and coming to terms with matters of life and death.

A seemingly lighthearted, fun, highly animated ensemble unite on stage to ponder life’s most ultimate issues ( especially the ones plaguing teens today), replete with humor and humility.  Perhaps the most classic, poignant line of all, is “dog sees God in his master; cat just looks in the mirror.” With a heavy heart, CB appreciates this analogy, and with a renewed sense of wonder, life, interrupted, as it were, goes on. The audience, enabled by this cast of fictional favorites, will be able to grapple with topics once considered taboo, such as homosexuality, teen violence and bullying, depression, suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction.  Each character, from the goth (Joey Maya Safchik) to the institutionalized (Zoe D’Andrea) to the gay (James Sanger) comes alive, offering pithy, priceless commentaries on life as they know it.

The show’s ending monologue, waxing poetic and optimistic says it all. It is particularly moving,  in the form of a letter: ” Dear CB, you’re a good man.. immerse yourself in life, a place where kindness and respect…even in perfect happiness… there’s always regret.  Laugh and the world laughs with you… cry and they laugh even harder.”

Feb 10 through 12

The Blank Theatre

6500 Santa Monica Blvd

Worst First Kiss Productions

inaugural production

 

 

 

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About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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