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You're a good man, Marcel Proust

BURLINGTON Good grief! Both French writer Marcel Prousts narrator in In Search of Lost Time and good ol Charlie Brown were severely smitten by a little red-haired girl. Touching and true. Prousts protagonist admitted his life-long obsession with these mournful words: A girl with reddish hair and a golden skin had remained for me the inaccessible ideal. Poor Charlie Brown has been just as fixated and just as unfulfilled. In Charlies case, David Michaelis absorbing new biography Schultz and Peanuts (2007) points out that the little red-haired girl is based on Donna Johnson, a co-worker who refused a marriage proposal from Charlies creator, Charles M. Schultz, in 1950. Johnson then promptly married someone else. Aaugh! Her actions broke Schultzs heart, and he never recovered. Well documented in Schultzs Peanuts comic strip, Charlies unrequited love was also on full display at FlynnSpace when FlynnArts Vermont high school students presented Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown July 10-13. Callum Adams (Stowe H.S.) was wonderfully wishy-washy but winsome as Charlie, and Rosemary Moore (CVU) was utterly elusive at least until the shows final moments as the little red-haired girl. As Lucy, Rebecca Driscoll (Essex H.S.) was the consummate crab, but she also exuded wit and energy all night long. Schroeder marry her! Kelsey Rai Lurie (SBHS) was a super-cool Snoopy, probably because Lurie says that she herself likes howling at the moon, sleeping, being patted on the head, chasing tennis balls, and eating bacon. In addition to acting, singing, and dancing, Director Christina Weaklands teen troupe created scenery, costumes, props, and sound effects for the production. They also added additional characters to the standard 1999 Broadway revival, all of whom had unique personalities and quirks. Toward the end of the evening, Charlie finds a pencil dropped by the little red-haired girl. Noticing teeth-marks all over the pencil, he realizes that she is human after all! Bursting with happiness and love of life, Charlie finally receives the recognition he has long sought as the play ends. The little red-haired girl tells him hes a good man and kisses him. You can almost hear a forlorn and jealous Marcel Proust muttering Rats!

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