Aired on Monday, December 7, 1998
Clip of YAGMCB, the title song plays.
Anchor: In 1967, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown charmed audiences for more than five years. A local production settled into the Wilbur Theatre for a year long run. And now the Peanuts gang is back in an all new production, bound for Broadway. It opens January 7th here in Boston at the Shubert, and joining us here in the studio this morning is the man playing the title role, Charlie Brown. His name is Anthony Rapp. Welcome. You guys are currently playing in wilmington delware to great reviews, I understand.
Anthony Rapp [sporting his new Charlie Brown-esque haircut, silver wire-rimmed glasses, and a Mark-like J. Crew-ish blue and red sweater]: Yes. [smiles and puts his hands together in mock prayer]
Anchor: Terrific. Boy, you talk about staying power: the Peanuts comic strip, still written by Charles Schulz, nearing its fiftieth anniversary. And we still love Charlie Brown after all these years. How come? Why do you think?
AR: Um, god, I don't know. I know why I love him in particular is that he never ever ever gives up in the face of... no matter how many times Lucy pulls away the football, he will always try again to kick the football. And especially in these sort of cynical times, I think that that's kind of a benchmark, you know, a hallmark, of hope and faith, and you know, just trying again in the face of odds.
Anchor: It is such an innocent show, and contrast that with RENT, in which you starred, creating the role of Mark in London and on Broadway, I mean this is night and day. Right?
AR: Right. Which is great for me as an actor to get to do two different things. But I'll tell you something, that what they have in common is... they both come from a very pure "heart" place [taps his heart]. They both are very much about love. I know that might sound cheesy but it's true. They just wear their heart on their sleeve. They are what they are, and you either go with it or you don't.
Anchor: In the end, RENT was about love, even though its characters were dealing with much different life issues than the Peanuts gang, of course.
AR: Yeah, absolutely.
Anchor: I understand that Charles Schulz was actively involved in the update of this show. Of course he had thirty years of new material to work with on this one.
AR: Yeah, our director Michael Mayer flew out to Santa Rosa, which is where Charles Schulz lives and owns an ice skating rink, among other things, but um, and they sat for a long time, and Charles Schulz was really excited about the changes. Because this show's been on for thirty one years, high schools and community theaters have been doing it since then. They've done the old show, and he's written so much since then, and he was really happy that we were going to be able to use some new material.
Anchor: New songs as well?
AR: There's, um, two new songs that have been written by a new composer, Andrew Lippa--
Anchor [cuts in, not particularly listening (sorry, editorializing, suck it up, it's my page)]: Terrific. Tickets go on sale this morning at the Shubert Theatre on Tremont Street, and people are being invited to bring new, clean blankets for a special cause. Tell us what that's all about.
AR: There's a organization called Project Linus that provides blankets to children in need. And these could be children in need in a hospital or foster children. They existed before our production and it just seemed like a wonderful marriage to try to help them out.
Anchor: Well, that's terrific. Please get involved with that if you can. And we wish you good luck with Charlie Brown, Anthony Rapp, with us in the studio today. The title role of a strong ensemble cast, which is opening January 7th at the Shubert. I'm looking forward to this one. Thank you for being with us.
AR: Thank you.
Anchor [with great sincerity]:
All righty. It's more fun to watch
the tape, but you take what you can get, right?
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