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Theatre: LA residents take part in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

By Jennifer Garcia

The Dixon Community Players present “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown) (revised), a musical based on the “Peanuts” comic strip. The production is a fast-moving romp through a day in the life of Charlie Brown and his friends Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Sally and of course, Snoopy — with some surprise visits from Woodstock.
The Dixon Community Players have been producing community musicals since 2007. Proceeds from the performances go to support local groups. They have now put on five major musical productions and raised more $10,000 for various organizations, including the Dixon Animal Protection Society, The Embudo Valley Library and the Dixon Elementary School.
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” features familiar faces from previous Dixon performances and from around the region. Los Alamos audiences may recognize Patrick MacDonald (Snoopy) from his performances with the Los Alamos Little Theater and the Los Alamos Light Opera. He’s a dance teacher for Dance Arts Los Alamos and his Snoopy character happens to tap-dance.
“I’ve wanted to play Snoopy since I was 19, so this is a wonderful opportunity for me,” MacDonald said. “I’m beyond grateful to have had the chance to let out the canine within, working alongside a great group of character actors.” This is MacDonald’s second production with the DCP, and he said he’s enjoyed traveling from Los Alamos to play with this “eclectic bunch of performers.”
The rest of the cast is filled out by Simon Feavearyear (Charlie Brown), Glenda Fletcher (Lucy), Don Conoscenti (Linus), Jeff Spicer (Schroeder), Rita O’Connell (Sally) and David Rigsby as Woodstock.
The production also features a six-piece orchestra from various places. Musical Director Roger Lambert is from Austin, Texas; Vocal Coach Gretchen Amstutz hails from Los Alamos, as do Shari Adams (flute), Bob Chrien (clarinet/saxophone) and Brian Huysman (synthesizer). Ken Youens-Clark (percussion) and Dick Padberg (bass) are Dixon residents.
“This is community theater at its finest,” O’Connell said. “Bring the kids and make a day of it in Dixon — you won’t be disappointed.”
This family-friendly show is an opportunity to visit Dixon and check out the region’s newest performance and party space, The Toolshed, located on an old lavender farm on Hwy. 75.
DCP mastermind and Charlie Brown director Holly Haas said, “This is a whole new venture because it’s our space and it’s a beautiful space. I keep thinking, ‘How can this space be in Dixon?’ When we started doing productions in 2007, we were playing in the elementary school gym, and we had to work out rehearsals around basketball team practice. And then we rented space from St. Anthony’s, which was a nice, little space that we were crowding seventy-five people into. Now we can hold 120 people and we don’t have to worry that the lights might go out.”
This year, Rock Pool Gardens, Embudo Valley Organics, Black Mesa Winery and Vivác Winery in association with The Embudo Valley Arts Association are sponsoring the DCP. “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is based on the Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. Book, music and lyrics are by Clark M. Gesner.
Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. July 27 and 28, Aug. 3 and 4, or at 2 p.m. July 29 and Aug. 5. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.
Purchase tickets by calling 505-579-9102 or online at dixonplayers.com. The Toolshed is located at #68, Hwy. 75, just look for the sign and park across the road.