Snoopy! The Musical
West End cast recording
|Basis||Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts|
|Productions||1975 San Francisco
1983 West End
1988 U.S. Television
2003 West End revival
2004 New York concert
Snoopy: The Musical is a musical comedy by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady, with a book by Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw, and Michael Grace. The characters are from the Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts. This sequel to the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown focuses more on the life of Snoopy. Since its premiere, the musical has been a popular choice for regional, international, and amateur theatre performances.
San Francisco (1975)
Snoopy: The Musical premiered on December 9, 1975 at the Little Fox Theatre in San Francisco, California. Directed by Arthur Whitelaw, the cast featured Don Potter, Jimmy Dodge, and Pamela Myers.
The musical was produced Off-Broadway at the Lamb's Theatre from December 20, 1982 through May 1, 1983. Directed by Whitelaw, the cast included David Garrison as Snoopy, Terry Kerwin as Charlie Brown and Vicki Lewis as Peppermint Patty. Lorna Luft played Peppermint Patty starting on February 21, 1983.
Canadian Premiere (1983)
The musical was first produced legitimately in Canada by the Toronto Civic Light Opera Company in January 1983. Directed by Joe Cascone, the cast included Brad Donovan, Fiona Watt, Alicia mcShane and John McGregor. The company revived the show in 1995 with Cascone now playing the title role, featuring Julie Lennick, Eddy Morassutti, Jay Crawford.
West End (1983-1984)
The musical ran at the West End Duchess Theatre from September 20, 1983 through November 11, 1984 for 479 performances, starring Teddy Kempner as Snoopy and featuring Susie Blake. The production was nominated for the Olivier Award for Musical of the Year, and Kempner was nominated for Actor of the Year in a Musical.
West End revival (2003)
Snoopy was revived at the West End Jermyn Street Theatre in February 2003 for 14 performances. It was directed by Joseph Pitcher and featured Stephen Carlile as Snoopy and Neil Gordon-Taylor as Charlie Brown.
New York concert (2004)
A concert presentation of Snoopy! was held at the Peter Norton Symphony Space in Manhattan, New York City, on April 12, 2004. Christian Borle starred in the title role, with Deven May as Charlie Brown, Sutton Foster as Peppermint Patty, Ann Harada as Lucy, Hunter Foster as Linus, and Jennifer Cody as Sally. The production was directed by Ben Rimalower.
Synopsis (London version)
The show is a "series of self-contained vignettes".
- Act I
As the curtain rises, each character enters and finds Snoopy atop his doghouse, and they all describe "The World According To Snoopy". Later, Lucy and Charlie Brown have a brief discussion of why he has chosen Snoopy for a pet ("Snoopy's Song"), which almost leads to Lucy getting Charlie Brown to buy a new pet. Snoopy, hoping to please his owner, decides to try to follow Charlie Brown's directions better. Meanwhile, Woodstock begins his day ("Woodstock's Theme"), but to his dismay, he seems to have falllen in love with a worm. Peppermint Patty has similar problems with love, wishing that she could be prettier to impress Charlie Brown ("Hurry Up Face").
In school, the group hopes that the teacher will not call on them to answer a question about the famous poet "Edgar Allan Poe". On "Mother's Day", Snoopy reflects on how much he misses his lost mother. Meanwhile, Sally, Peppermint Patty, and Lucy have a happy discussion on what they've learned in their lives ("I Know Now").
On Halloween, Linus, along with a reluctant Snoopy, awaits the arrival of the Great Pumpkin during "The Vigil" in the pumpkin patch. Later, the group looks up at the sky where they imagine no clouds, but instead Mount Rushmore, dragons and twenty milk-white horses ("Clouds"), but when asked what he sees, Charlie Brown can only sadly say, "A horsie and a duckie."
Snoopy enters as the Easter Beagle to hand out bright Easter eggs to everyone, except Charlie Brown. A dejected Charlie Brown, musing on the new independence of his pet, is left alone ("Where Did That Little Dog Go?"). Similar events progress, and Lucy, Peppermint Patty, and Sally try to sell Snoopy for a "Dime A Dozen", though Snoopy is quick to realize that he must mend his ways and wishes that he could start over ("Daisy Hill").
Life soon goes back to normal and the gang seems to have forgotten those events. They are however, beginning to think, as Lucy says, that they live "in the most boring place in the whole stupid world!", all of them asking the same question: "When Do The Good Things Start?"
- Act II
Unfortunately, Playbeagle has decided not to publish Snoopy's manuscript, but Snoopy's spirits remain undaunted even amid the throes of rejection, as "The Great Writer" begins his new story. Later, Peppermint Patty sarcastically expresses her love for Charlie Brown ("Poor Sweet Baby"). Sally, seeing leaves fall from a tree, remarks that there is something to learn from the cycle of life: "Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be". While sitting atop his doghouse, putting the finishing touches on his new story, Snoopy receives a letter delivered by Woodstock: he has become Head Beagle ("The Big Bow Wow").
Later, the gang begins a discussion of Christmas and innocence. Then, looking up at the starry sky, Charlie Brown remarks "I think that there must be a tiny star out there that is my star." They reflect on their friendships and realize that if one person changes their world, they might as well be friends forever ("Just One Person"). Linus remarks to Charlie Brown, "Well, as Lucy always says, he isn't much of a dog." Snoopy replies, "But, after all, who is?"
† Added for the London version
The Original Cast album contains another song, "Friend", also performed by the Ensemble (after "Daisy Hill").
In his review of the 1983 Lamb's Theatre production, Mel Gussow wrote: "If the musical [Snoopy!!!] were nose-to-nose with Mr. (David) Garrison's performance, it would be a subject for celebration. Sadly, this sequel ...is a hand-me-down...the show meanders all over play-school country. The book, which is credited to three individual writers as well as a task force called 'Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates' is a pastepot of Peanuts dialogue that wanders into various other neighborhoods in order to accommodate the score."
In reviewing the 2004 London production, the Whats On Stage reviewer noted "...this is a show for all ages and all seasons - and as a sunny summer's entertainment, could hardly be bettered. The musical retains the fast, sharp comic appeal and instantly recognisable characterisations of the line-drawing originals, but also irresistibly brings it to human form by buoying up its snapshot scenes with the tuneful ease of the light, bright melodies of composer Larry Grossman's settings to Hal Hackaday's apt, witty lyrics."
- Listing tams-witmark.com, accessed July 30, 2009
- Suskin, Steven. Show tunes (2000), Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0-19-512599-1, p. 350
- The New York Times, Display ad, February 21, 1983, p. C12
- Snoopy at the Duchess Theatre thisistheatre.com, accessed July 30, 2009
- Olivier Winners, 1983 officiallondontheatre.co.uk, accessed July 30, 2009
- Shenton, Mark."Snoopy!The Musical", whatsonstage.com, 21 July 2004
- "Snoopy!" playbill.com
- Loveridge, Lizzie."A CurtainUp Review:Snoopy the Musical" curtainup.com, February 17, 2003
- "Snoopy! The Musical Returns," britishtheatreguide.info, 12 June 2004
- Gussow, Mel. "Stage: Snoopy is Back On Doghouse Singing", The New Yotk Times, December 24, 1982, p.C6
- Snoopy!!! The Musical at Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Listing at guidetomusicaltheatre.com
- Internet Movie Database, Snoopy:The Musical, 1988