Home Life and Arts Texas State to host world premiere of revised Snoopy musical

Texas State to host world premiere of revised Snoopy musical

Photo courtesy of Dawn Thompson photography.

The Department of Theatre and Dance will showcase the world premiere of “The World According to Snoopy” Feb. 14-19 in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre.

Texas State’s revised version is based off of the classic musical “Snoopy!!!” Both musicals are inspired by the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz.

Kaitlin Hopkins, director of the musical, will follow in her late father’s footsteps by reviving “The World According to Snoopy,” which is the musical sequel to “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Hopkins said her father co-produced “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in 1967 and on Broadway in 1999. Her father passed away before he could give “Snoopy!!!” the revival he felt it deserved.

“I think it would make my dad really happy that we gave the show this beautiful score and these incredible characters another life,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins is not the only person who has sentimental ties to the shows.

Ryne Nardecchia, musical theatre senior, will play the role of Snoopy. He said his favorite song of the show is when Peppermint Patty sings “Poor Sweet Baby.”

Peppermint Patty sings the song to Charlie Brown, asking him what kind of person he would like to have as a wife.

“Charlie Brown said he’d like someone that would call him poor sweet baby, Nardecchia said. “At first, we thought it was kind of goofy, but then (the composer) told us the story behind the song.”

Composer Larry Grossman wrote the song as an ode to Schulz’s wife. Schulz dealt with severe depression, and during his pits of despair, his wife would say “poor sweet baby” to calm him down.

“The show has deeper heart in it than at first glance,” Nardecchia said.

Ty Taylor, musical theatre senior, will play the role of Linus van Pelt. He said staying true to the show and characters was a recurring theme with the actors. Creating new lines was difficult because the cast and crew wanted to keep the integrity of the comics.

“In all of the individual scenes, the vignettes (and) the dialogue is word for word from the comic strips,” Taylor said.

All of the people involved in creating the new lines meticulously combed through the “Peanuts” comics to find words that would work instead of creating their own.

“The (audience) can anticipate all of the familiarity of the Peanuts and their favorite iconic characters in the strips, but they can also expect a really fun night,” Taylor said.

Maggie Bera, musical theatre senior, who is playing Lucy in the musical, said the show has motivational aspects to it.

“It’s a really uplifting and fun show to watch because the characters never give up,” Bera said. “They face all these challenges in life and they never give up.”

The improvements made to the show are meant to make the musical more contemporary for modern audiences and bring the Peanuts characters to life once again, Hopkins said.

Other production companies will have the opportunity to create their own versions of the musical, Hopkins said.

Texas State partnered with Theater Under the Stars to make the regional premiere of “The World According to Snoopy” in Houston. The cast and crew will have the opportunity to perform in a professional theater June 6.

Show times for “The World According to Snoopy” at Texas State will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-18 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 18-19. To purchase tickets, visit txstatepresents.com or call 512-245-6500.