It may take a few minutes to get the comic-strip image of balloon-head Charlie Brown out of your mind and accept the more normal face of Adam Whitney as Charlie, but once you accomplish that you're on your way to a very enjoyable musical.
"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," staged by the Wester Nevada Musical Theatre Company, continues this weekend at the Brewery Arts Center's Donald W. Reynolds Theater at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for general admission, $16 for students and seniors, and $14 for youths 17 and under.
Dependable Stephanie Arrigotti and Gina Kaskie-Davis as director/producer and choreographer have done their jobs well and the cast is as lively and talented as any they have presented.
Of course, much depends on Charlie Brown, and he comes to life with all his warts and bumps intact as Whitney sings and scowls. Lucy (Caitlin Papp) is as bossy as ever and Therese Curatolo is a nicely blonde Sally Brown. Chris Willson is fine on the piano as Schroeder and Marcus Quiroga, surely as versatile as they come, is a winsome Snoopy.
The Charlie-and-the-kite scene is boffo, and Sally is a fine scold.
This certainly qualifies as a family show, and even teens can enjoy it. Sometime I'm going to write a bad review of the college's troup shows, but I doubt it. This is one of a string of fine, traditional entertainments. OK, Schulz is no longer around, but his characters are memorable and live on.
"Durga, the Drum Goddess"
In passing, I can't let this one go by. That was quite a show at the BAC Performance Hall last weekend, with Liz Broscoe doing it all - from drummer to director and producer. She got lots of help from guitarist Wesley Orsolic. This was a very modern multi-media show, with a background film screened in stage rear that matched the stage action quiet well. And the six dancers were professional but with a nice, casual air to their movements. All nicely synced, but all nicely relaxed. Brewery boss John Procaccini deserves a solid thanks for helping bring the show to life.
BLUES HEADING OUR WAY
The Brewery Arts Center brings blues singer Shemekia Copeland here April 21. Copeland first appeared on the scene in 1997 with her groundbreaking debut CD, "Turn The Heat Up," and quickly became a roots superstar.
Since then she has collected five Blues Music Awards, a Grammy nomination, five Living Blues Awards, and was honored with the coveted "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" award from the Downbeat Critic's Poll
Copeland will appear at 7:30 pm in the Performance Hall at 511 W. King St. Tickets are $28 for preferred seating; $22 balcony. Call 883-1976.
OVER THE TRANSOME
MUSIC:We get lot of books and CDs for review at the entertainment desk. Most of the rock CDs we pass along to Jarid Shipley, figuring he's more in touch with that world. But some we keep, and "La Guitara, Gendering Bending Strings," is definitely a keeper. It's an attempt to show how women have influenced the guitarists of our times, and it does a fine job of it. There are 14 women strumming, picking and banging away here, and the music far and above the gender, is exciting stuff.
FILM: Sometimes you wonder how an improbable, difficult movie ever gets made, when it's clear that spectacles like "300" make the money. "Transamerica" is one of those oddball films that succeeds, despite a transsexual theme. Bree (Felicity Huffman) is a man getting ready to become a woman and already dressing and acting as one when he discovers that years ago he fathered a son. Getting together with that son in a kind of "road" picture is the story. The son, played by Kevin Zegers, is surly, a druggie and male prostitute but slowly becomes a person, partly thanks to Huffman's wit and tolerance. Lots of lies become truths in this film and can be savored. Running time, 203 minutes, rated R, released in 2005.
• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or email@example.com