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Kelsey Abel plays the part of The Little Red Headed Girl, Charlie Brown's secret love in the comic strip musical. (Submitted photo by David Smith)

Charlie Brown's musical search

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"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" -- a musical comedy based on the famous Charles Schultz comic strip "Peanuts" -- will be presented by students in the Oltman Middle School Drama Department at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26.

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"It's a funny, funny show," said creative director Pam Uphus, as she named off students in lead roles.

"Troy Michael Lowry Jr. as Charlie Brown is charming and pitiful. Rayne Anderson as Lucy is bossy and sassy. Leah Haliburton, Snoopy, is endearing and entertaining. Nick Zamora, Schroeder, is slapstick funny. Brian Kuhns, Linus, is sweet and loveable. Taylor Gartman, Peppermint Patty, is polished and comical. Brianna Roy, Sally, is ditzy and amusing. 

"Then there are the 20 members of the Peanuts gang and the 20 little yellow Woodstocks singing and dancing and bringing life and energy to every performance," Uphus said.

Running through both acts is Charlie's search for what it means to be a "good man" and all the answers he collects from his experiences at school and in the neighborhood.

The show is Oltman's eighth musical production. More than 60 students supported by at least six adults as directors and coaches have rehearsed for six weeks, Uphus said.

"Even though two thirds of our students are new to our school and our program this year, they uphold our tradition of excellence and deliver a performance beyond their years -- reaching at least a high-school level," she said.

"The coaches and directors pushed students to be more than fine, better than good and satisfied only with fabulous," Uphus said.  "The cast and crew of Charlie Brown will not disappoint."

Cast members include:

The Peanuts Gang -- Ekatte Umana, Zacaria Moeller, Krissy Palmer, Mia Miller, Alyson Smith, Mitch Jensen, Kelsey Abel, McKayla Collins, Katherine Schwanke, Zach Susag, Madelyn Lagoon, Amanda Moriarty, Alyssa Volmer-Johnson, Katelyn Quast, Carley Sklenar, Savannah Nitz, Jacob Hopp, Michaela Silvis and Paige Archambeau.

Woodstocks -- Page Abel, Kaylee Allen, Cathryn Carpenter, Marea Detzler, Maria Guadalupe Reyes, Alex Joyce, Alison Kuehn, Emma Lifton, Jacob Mullan, Maddie Nelson, Miranda Olson, Alex Pendar Allyssa Phillips, Haley Rinzel, Megan Towle, Kaitlyn Tufenk and Hope Tweet-Cook.

Crew -- Kevin Roettger, Carly Drigans, Paige Lawver, Zach Listner, Dominique Lutz, Mark Lukitsch, Cullen Young, Maddie Kuta, Hailey Mason, Callie Stevens and Daniela Flores.

Directors -- Rachel Hunsinger, vocal director; Jennifer Reichel, technical director; Daniela Flores, student director; Gina Gamnis, publicity and tickets; Laura Shaw-Wright, painting and design; Sandy Macalister, musical accompaniment; Jonel Langenfeld-Rial, production staging; DeAnne Sherman, choreography; Sarah Pflugh and Melissa Thatcher, American Sign Language interpreters; and Brian Uphus, carpentry.

If you go

Oltman Middle School's performances of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Kids, 5 years and younger, will be charged $1. The show is appropriate for all ages, according to creative director Pam Uphus. Oltman is located at 1020 Third Street in St. Paul Park.

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