In 1971, a Broadway production featuring an entirely new cast opened at the John Golden Theatre, but closed a month later after only 15 previews and 32 regular performances.
The show was adapted for television in a 1973 Hallmark Hall of Fame special and a prime-time animated TV special based on the musical, also called You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, was aired on the CBS network in 1985. The latter is the first animated depiction of Snoopy with comprehensible dialogue.
The musical was revived again on Broadway in 1999. It featured new dialogue by Michael Mayer and additional songs and orchestration written by Andrew Lippa. In this revival, the character of Patty (an early Peanuts character not to be confused with Peppermint Patty) was replaced with Sally Brown. The revival received four Tony Award nominations, winning two (Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress for Roger Bart as Snoopy and Kristin Chenoweth as Sally, respectively). The production closed just one week after the Tony broadcast, having played only 14 previews and 149 performances.
Snoopy is lying on top of his doghouse, relaxing vacantly and peacefully. He begins to daydream about being a wild jungle beast. In a few minutes, however, he is back to his peaceful state ("Snoopy"). Linus enters, holding his blanket and sucking his thumb. Lucy and Sally show up and mock him for this habit. Linus decides to abandon his blanket and move on, only to come running back to it in desperation. After the girls leave, Linus daydreams of a blanket fantasy where everyone can relax with their blankets ("My Blanket and Me").
Charlie Brown appears, trying to get his unusually stubborn kite to soar in the air. Eventually, he succeeds in doing this, and he enjoys a few minutes of triumph before the notorious Kite-Eating Tree eats it up ("The Kite"). After this trauma, Charlie Brown goes to see Lucy, who is at her psychiatrist booth. He tells her all the things he thinks of himself. Lucy then clears it up by saying that Charlie Brown is unique the way he is, then asks for the five cent price ("The Doctor Is In"). Later, Charlie Brown sees a happy Schroeder spreading the word of Beethoven's birthday and pulling together a celebration. He and company join Schroeder in the song of jubilation ("Beethoven Day").
At noon, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and Charlie Brown are working on their Peter Rabbit book reports, each in his or her own way. Lucy is simply counting the number of words, Schroeder is doing a "comparison" between the book and Robin Hood, Linus is doing an overcomplicated psychological analysis, and Charlie Brown hasn't even started out of worry, while Sally and Snoopy chase rabbits ("The Book Report").
Sally is clearly cross about a D her teacher gave her on her homework assignment. In response, she says, "Oh, yeah? That's what you think!" Schroeder hears and asks why Sally is telling him that. It quickly becomes Sally's new "philosophy", and she bursts into song about her philosophies. Schroeder, after failing to explain to her how philosophies work, leaves in bafflement while Sally continues ("My New Philosophy").
Charlie Brown returns, and, with his friends, plays the Little League Baseball Championship. After some mishaps, the team finally manages to make some progress. Charlie Brown steps up to the plate, and despite his valiant efforts, strikes out and loses the game. We learn that this was a flashback, and Charlie Brown expresses his deep sorrow to his pen pal ("T-E-A-M (The Baseball Game)"). Determined not to let that ruin everything, Charlie Brown decides to join Schroeder's Glee Club and cheer up by singing "Home on the Range" with his friends. Unfortunately, a fight ensues between Lucy and Linus over a pencil. The fight spreads, and Charlie Brown decides to leave with his angry friends, leaving Schroeder and Snoopy the only ones singing ("Glee Club Rehearsal").
Later, Charlie Brown comes across Lucy teaching Linus about nature the way she views it with such as bugs making the grass grow or eating eagles for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Charlie Brown tries to correct her, but she retaliates with a false explanation, and Charlie Brown bangs his head against a tree in frustration ("Little Known Facts"). That evening, Snoopy complains that he hasn't been fed yet, and begins to overcomplicate and dramaticize the matter until Charlie Brown shows up with his dinner. Not even apologizing for ignoring him, Snoopy bursts into song about his craving for supper until his master firmly tells him to eat his meal ("Suppertime").
That night, Charlie Brown is sad that he still has not discovered what it means to be a "good man". He proudly displays a pencil which had been dropped by the Little Red-Haired Girl (his perennial crush). As he examines it, he discovers that "there are teeth-marks all over it . . . she nibbles her pencil . . . she's HUMAN!" With that realization, he concludes that today hasn't been so bad, after all, and he's done a lot of things that make him happy. As Charlie Brown expresses what makes him happy, everyone, touched by his love of life, begin to express what makes them happy as well ("Happiness"). Right then, Charlie Brown realizes that being a "good man" means trying your best and making the most of the things you've been given in life. As his friends leave the stage, Lucy walks over and puts out her hand, making him shrink back. As he reaches out, she shakes his hand firmly, then tells him, "You're a good man, Charlie Brown."
|Character||Voice Range||Original Off-Broadway||Revival 1999 Broadway|
|Charlie Brown||baritone||Gary Burghoff||Anthony Rapp|
|Lucy van Pelt||mezzo-soprano||Reva Rose||Ilana Levine|
|Schroeder||tenor||Skip Hinnant||Stanley Wayne Mathis|
|Linus van Pelt||baritone||Bob Balaban||B. D. Wong|
|Snoopy||tenor||Bill Hinnant||Roger Bart|
|Sally Brown||soprano||Kristin Chenoweth|
Articles about the 1999 revision while it was in previews noted that the one difference between the original production and the 1999 version was that the latter reflected the increased ethnic diversity of casting over the decades that had passed, with Schroeder being played by an African American actor (Mathis) and Linus by an Asian American (Wong).