Song Of The Day 6/7/2014: Original Cast - "Book Report" (from "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown")


Broadway Off And On: I latched onto the Peanuts mythology at a very young age, long before I had any clue about the complex psychology behind all of it. Charles Schulz lived in Sonoma County, California, not more than a three-hour drive from anywhere I lived in the first 25 years of my life. So you had that locally-produced angle. Also that whatever intricate, maybe slightly dark themes were going on with Peanuts were cleverly disguised from children (and probably many parents) via a dog that flew mock World War I missions from the top of his doghouse. Back then dogs had their own houses. I identify with Charlie Brown so tightly that other people, especially my friend Elizabeth, have mentioned it to me without knowing just how deeply I was into Peanuts at the age of three. I got the bald part down, anyway.

One of my very first albums ever, naturally, was the original off-Broadway cast album of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, which I admit I still play maybe once a year. What can I say, "Happiness" still cuts me to the bone. "Book Report" is the song that shows off most of the cast in normal interaction. That is, if you consider a mini-opera that resolves in a fugue to be a form of normal interaction. I did. I also thought grammar teachers dressed up like Easy Reader on The Electric Company. 

Schroeder's all over this one. He's fudging his way through a book report on Peter Rabbit by talking about the plot of Robin Hood. Charlie Brown's being his usual worrywart, and that's Gary Burghoff, Radar from M*A*S*H, singing his part. That's Bob Balaban playing Linus, already a penetrative literary critic. Lucy's in this song too, but she's got no time for it. She's in commercial real estate now.


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