Pictured is the cast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The show by Our Theatre Company is playing tonight and Sunday at Sanford High School.

What show has a hapless “sad-sack” as its central character? No, it’s not Oliver Twist and besides he’s no “sad-sack.” I suspect that this term might apply to folks with the limited sex appeal like the guys in the TV show “Big Bang Theory” combined with the fielding ability of someone like Bill Buckner. (Red Sox fans, remember?) The fellow in question is none other than Charlie Brown of the television special “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” fame and, of course, the comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz.

A holiday play focusing on this famous sad sack, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Schulz and based on the TV special by Bill Melendex and Lee Mendelson, is now playing at Sanford High School and is presented by the Our Theatre Company. Vince Guaraldi is the composer and lyrics are by Mendelson.

The cast consists of 17 adorable children and one adult and the person who made all the pieces fit together is Marc Ciaraldi, who wore the hats of director, choreographer and music supervisor.

The plot of the show is that Lucy “suggests” that Charlie become the director of the Christmas show. (She would be the power behind the throne.) During the course of rehearsals, there is a suggestion  that a Christmas tree would be a great addition to the play. Charlie and his pal Linus go and get one, but the tree they find looks more like a scaled-down version of a wireless pole than a Christmas tree — which led to the term a “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” for sparse looking trees. The cast initially laughs at Charlie but soon after decorating the miniature tree realize that the spirit of Christmas is more important than material things. The play concludes with Christmas carols.

Among the many songs in the show, perhaps the most memorable is “Christmastime is Here,” which the cast sang in tune and with expression. It is my opinion that anyone who can get a diverse group of children to do that must be doing something right.

The cast included all the characters of the comic strip with the principals including: Charlie Brown (David Frost)  Lucy (Ryleigh Dyer, Snoop (Kyra Pulkinen, Frieda (Hannah Baker)  Schroeder (Dustin Niehoff) and Woodstock (Cyrus Dyer.)  The set design was by Correy Coffin, Karleen Frost and Amy Marlino. They were simple but most effective.

The show is a fun experience for the entire family. Great job by one and all.

The show runs for a bit over an hour and includes one intermission. There is a performance at 7 p.m. tonight and a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday at Sanford High School, 52 Sanford High School Blvd. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for  seniors and children, and can be purchased at myotc.org/tickets or at the door if available.

— Morton Gold, Ph.D., is a composer/conductor, retired educator and an arts reviewer for the Journal Tribune.

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