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You're a Good Man, Charlie BrownHeritage Repertory Theatre Opens Last Two Shows of Season

July 14, 2000 -- With its technical crews working overtime, the Heritage Repertory Theatre will premiere in the same week the last two productions in its summer season of plays and musicals.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," (right), will open in the Helms Theatre on Tuesday July 18, and Aint Misbehavin will open in the Culbreth Theatre on Thursday July 20. Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown is based on the long-running and beloved comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. HRT has secured the rights to the new version of this classic musical which won a Tony last season on Broadway; in addition to the book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, this version features new dialogue by Michael Mayer and new songs by Andrew Lippa, an HRT alum.

Andrew Lippa was my musical director for the Heritage Rep production of I Do, I Do back in 1988, recalls director Robert Chapel (Carousel, West Side Story). Hes had a busy year, with this new version of Charlie Brown, plus he wrote one of the two versions of The Wild Party that was on Broadway this season. Its a pleasure to direct this show with his songs.

The cast of Charlie Brown is comprised of several HRT veterans, including Nancy Snow (Lucy) who played Julie in Carousel and Maria in last seasons West Side Story; and Jared Bradshaw (Snoopy) who played Riff in West Side Story and was the tenor in The All Night Strut. Richard Greenfield (Charlie Brown) was in the chorus of Carousel and has performed leading roles in Forever Plaid and The Pirates of Penzance at Elon College.

"Youre a Good Man Charlie Brown" opens on July 18, and plays each night Monday through Saturday through Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on July 22, 26 and Aug. 5. Many performances are already sold out, so patrons are encouraged to reserve their tickets as soon as possible.

Ain't Misbehavin"Aint Misbehavin" is the Tony award-winning revue celebrating the career and music of Thomas Fats Waller. After opening July 20, it plays July 21, 22, and 24 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on July 22. It will continue to run in rotating repertory with performances July 27, Aug. 1, 4 and 5 at 8 p.m.

Director and Choreographer Mike Malone is making his HRT debut with this production. Malone is the co-founder of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington, D.C. and coordinator of the musical theatre program at Howard University. His work has appeared on television (Fame), Broadway (The Great White Hope), and at the Kennedy Center (the critically acclaimed Black Nativity).

The ensemble features DAmbrose Boyd, who is taking the place of the previously announced Tim Cain after Mr. Cain got the opportunity to star Off-Broadway in a revival of Godspell. Mr. Boyd has performed in numerous productions of Aint Misbehavin in the United States and in Europe. The ensemble also features Letetia Starke, who has appeared locally in Nunsense and Christmas at the USO.

Letetia had seen our opening musical each year for the past several years, says Robert Chapel, who as Producing Artistic Director casts all five HRT shows. She told me that each year she would say to herself, I should be up there on that stage; and this year she auditioned and just knocked our socks off with her incredible voice. So this year, she is up on stage where she belongs!

After "Aint Misbehavin" completes its initial run, HRT will bring back the other two shows which will run in rotating repertory: Picnic by William Inge will play July 25, 28, 31, and Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on July 29; "Same Time Next Year" by Bernard Slade will play July 26, 29 and Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 5.

Tickets are available at the HRT box office. Individual tickets are $25, with student/child tickets at $14 and senior citizens (60+) at $21. Reduced season tickets to all four remaining HRT productions are available for $75, with discounts for students/children and seniors. The box office, located in the Drama Building on Culbreth Road, may be reached Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (804) 924-3376.

Contact: James Scales (804) 982-5279

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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