Review: ‘The Fantasticks’ gets magical treatment

By Sonya Ellingboe, Littleton Indepenedent

‘The Fantasticks’ gets magical treatment at Littleton Town Hall Arts Center

Bellomy (Rick Long) and Hucklebee (Bonnie McIntyre) are neighbors, who like to garden — and who wish their offspring would fall in love with each other as they grow up. They recognize they must not push it, or those kids will react negatively …

The pair schemes a bit, pretends to feud, thinking kids will be contrary and take a counter route … “The Minute You Say No” and talks about gardens as well: “Plant a radish, you get a radish …” is a recurring theme in the charming “The Fantasticks,” playing at Littleton Town Hall Arts Center through Oct. 17.

This is the longest-running theatrical production in the world, running for 42 years off-Broadway. The book and lyrics are by Tom Jones and music is by Harvey Schmidt.

El Gallo first sings the sentimental “Try to Remember,” setting the mood … We are in a magical story.

Director Billie McBride, who is also a very accomplished actress, has used a gentle touch on this tale.

After the parents, we meet Matt (Carter Edward Smith), who enters while the tall, lean, expressive Mute (Cal Meakins) hangs around on stage, occasionally supplying a prop piece … or a moon … “I’ll marry when I marry …,” Matt sings. “There is a girl…”

Sweet Luisa (Katie Jackson in lacy anklets and Mary Janes and a girlie dress) appears singing and looking dreamily at neighbor Matt … They talk through a wall of sorts.

Onstage most of the time is El Gallo, who speaks with a dry humor and may be up to no good at times. Randy Chalmers plays this part with imagination and humor — and straight face. He interacts and sings with the other cast members …

(I’d suggest addition of a song list to the online program of sorts — print it and carry with if you like to have actors’ names in hand, because there are none at the theater— a COVID casualty. Nor are there paper tickets …)

El Gallo explains dryly: “The lovers meet in secret … there may be musketeers and so forth … a happy ending, and so forth … cost? Depends on what you buy … perhaps an abduction is in order … first class, with trimmings, a couple singers, a string quartet …”

Music director Donna Debreceni performs on piano and harpist Barbara Lepke Sims adds a melodic accompaniment throughout — really pleasing to these ears … live music!

As the audience is seated, they notice a large wooden trunk onstage. It eventually opens and out come Henry (John Ashton) and Mortimer (Diane Wziontka), a pair of players, who are a delight. Mortimer specializes in dying on stage and proceeds to demonstrate — a hilarious spoof of theatrical traditions … “I’ve been dying ever since I was a child,” Mortimer explains …

I’ve enjoyed Ashton’s performances in the metro area for years and have never seen him look so absolutely delighted to be on stage … it’s been a tough time especially for those talented folks who love to entertain us … The man glows! “There are no small actors … only small parts,” Mortimer declares.

The parents, Bellomy and Hucklebee, are cranky with each other as they try for the best garden. They sing about how you have control over veggies — “Plant a radish, you get a radish,” while rearing children is not so predictable. They are competitive about their gardens and almost come to blows …

Complications ensue with the romance, but of course, there is eventually a happy ending to this quirky piece, which Town Hall first performed in a big tent in the 1980s, when Hudson Gardens opened.

What a great choice after a tough stretch!

The year’s program is announced: “Winter Wonderettes” and “Plaid Tidings” in repertory over the holidays, followed by “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Once on This Island,” and “The Wedding Singer.” There will be some short run musical programs-tba.

Town Hall Arts Center is at 2450 W. Main Street in downtown Littleton. Tickets cost $37 and $52,, 303-794-2787, ext. 5.

On Oct. 4, proceeds from a special performance of “The Fantasticks” will be donated to the Denver Actors Fund, which has assisted many members of the theatre community over the years.

Review: ‘The Fantasticks’ still has it

By Blythe Smith, OnStage Colorado

Littleton Town Hall production features a powerful cast

The Fantasticks premiered in 1960, but all I knew about it going in was that it had the song “Try to Remember.” My high school, like most other high schools in America, put it on sometime in the early ’80s (I can still see the fading poster with all its commemorative counterparts on the choir room wall.)

Now playing at Littleton Town Hall Arts Center under the direction of Billie McBride, The Fantasticks shows why it still holds the title as longest-running theatrical production in the world (1960-2002 for the original off-Broadway production).

Matt, the boy (Carter Edward Smith) and Luisa, the girl (Katie Jackson) live next door to each other, and their feuding parents have built a wall between their homes. This, of course, only fans the flames of their young romance. We quickly find out that the neighbors actually like each other just fine and have intended for their children to marry all along. The wall is their clever and apparently successful experiment in reverse psychology. In order to really move the romance along, the scheming parents decide to hire a villain, El Gallo (Randy Chalmers, who’s also the narrator) to pretend to abduct the girl. Aiding in the plot are an aging actor, Henry (John Ashton) and his sidekick, Mortimer (Diane Wziontka). The boy will heroically save her, and the boy’s mother and girl’s father can end their pretend feud. Everything goes to plan, and so ends the first act.

In Act 2, matters deteriorate. The girl and boy quarrel, and the boy goes off to see the world. The villain courts the girl, who seems receptive to his dash and worldly ways. Their parents blame each other and begin to rebuild their wall. The boy and girl appear to be gaining new perspectives, which does not necessarily seem to be an improvement on their earlier naiveté.

I saw this production of The Fantasticks with my brother, and when I saw him again the next morning he asked, “Have you thought any more about the play?”

I had, but I’m still not sure what I think about it. The concept is very of its time, which is not to say it is bad, merely that I could see today’s audiences finding it somewhat confusing. I’m still not sure what the point of the show is, if it has one. You can’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone? Idealize your youth, because things will get worse? Young love is great, but you can’t really be in love until you’ve had some of the callow optimism knocked out of you? I’m still thinking.

What I can say, unequivocally, is that the performances are absolutely fabulous. Vocally, the songs are challenging, and the entire cast is up to the task. Katie Jackson has a gorgeous, crystalline soprano voice that fits her role perfectly. It would be worth seeing this show just to hear her, no matter what you thought of the plot. All the other actors are engaging, their songs and harmonies on point. Randy Chalmers is a winsome narrator.

Though some of the references (like the numerous Shakespeare puns) might go over the heads of some, there is also a lot of humor in the play. The physical comedy ages well enough, and the audience found a lot to laugh about. I also couldn’t help but be struck by the social commentary in the song “Round and Round,” which seems as appropriate now as it would have been 60 years ago.

And let’s face it, who isn’t glad to just be back in a theater after a year and a half? Everyone, from the theater staff to the actors to the audience, seemed glad to be there. It is worth noting pandemic norms and protocols. Masks are encouraged for all audience members, and most were wearing them. But you won’t be thrown out of the place if you aren’t wearing one (and they did have some available at the entrance).

What I really want to do is tell everyone to see everything right now — all the plays, all the concerts. This particular musical might be best enjoyed by an older audience, but the performances are so good that it should appeal to all ages.

2021-2022 Main Stage Season Announcements

2021-2022 Main Stage Shows

2021-2022 Main Stage Shows

Town Hall Arts Center is proud to announce our 2021-2022 Main Stage Season offerings! Beginning in September 2021, THAC presents a powerhouse lineup of Main Stage shows: The Fantasticks, Winter Wonderettes, Plaid Tidings, Little Shop of Horrors, Once On This Island, and The Wedding Singer. Single and season ticket packages now available.

Season and single tickets are currently on sale, priced $35-$52 for non-holiday shows and $37-$54 for holiday shows. Purchase online at or at the THAC Box Office, (303) 794-2787 x 5 (open Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 5 PM). All ticket sales, whether purchased online, phone, or in-person, will receive Print-At-Home tickets via email. Season ticket packages and Flex Pass information can be found here.

• September 17 – October 17, 2021: The Fantasticks (Directed by Billie McBride) $35-$52
• *November 5 – December 26, 2021 (Holiday Show): Winter Wonderettes (Directed by Robert Wells) $37-$54
• *November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022 (Holiday Show): Plaid Tidings (Directed by Nick Sugar) $37-$54
• January 28 – March 6, 2022: Little Shop of Horrors (Directed by Robert Wells) $35-$52
• April 8 – May 8, 2022: Once On This Island (Directed by Betty Hart) $35-$52
• May 27 – June 26, 2022: The Wedding Singer (Directed by Nick Sugar) $35-$52
• * indicates a holiday show

7:30 PM Fridays & Saturdays, 2:00 PM Sundays
• The Fantasticks – October 8-10 & October 15-17
• Once On This Island – April 29-May 1 & May 6-8
• The Wedding Singer – June 17-19 & June 24-26

In partnership with Arapahoe Community College, THAC presents a new adult education program with a presentation and discussion of topics related to our Main Stage productions called “Spotlight Series.” Visit our website for more information.
• September 19, 2022 @ 6 PM: The Fantasticks $5
• January 30, 2022 @ 6 PM: Winter Wonderettes $5
• April 10, 2022 @ 6 PM: Once On This Island $5
• May 29, 2022 @ 6 PM: The Wedding Singer $5
• Past Spotlight Series topics:
o Meet Me in St. Louis (2019-2020) – The role of the World’s Fair in shaping 21st century society.
o Disenchanted (2019-2020) – How ‘Princess Culture’ influences gender role development
o Barefoot in the Park (2019-2020) – Millennial marriages and the sandwich factor.

Coming in 2022 – Town Hall Sessions: An Intimate Concert Series. More information on specific performers will be released in December 2021.

THAC’s Stanton Art Gallery is curated by The Littleton Fine Arts Guild. A new exhibit opens September 17 in the Stanton Art Gallery located inside Town Hall Arts Center. The show is titled “Fantastik Fall” and will run in conjunction with the production of The Fantasticks. Free admission. Open during Box Office hours Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 5 PM.

Review: SHOUT! The Mod Musical

By Beki Pineda

SHOUT – Created by Phillip George, David Lowenstein and Peter Charles Morris; Directed by Kate Vallee. Produced by Town Hall Arts Center (2450 West Main Street, Littleton) through June 20, 2021. Tickets available for live performances and streaming at 303-794-ARTS or

The very first song on this program celebrating the music popular among girl singers in the 60’s is “England Swings.” I can vouch firsthand that England was swinging in the 60’s because I was living there from 1964 to 1967. Not doing much swinging myself however; but did get to witness as music and fashion burst on the streets and on the TV. This production recalls with fondness the music and the mentality of this time. The patter in-between the songs vividly illustrates the prevalent female state of mind in this pre-feminist era. . . which elicited audible groans from the women in the audience. Were we really ever that naïve?

The five women singers who comprise this cast pay homage to the music of the amazing Petula Clark (“Round Every Corner,” “I Know a Place,” Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love,” “A Sign of the Times,” and all time favorite “Downtown”), the soulful Dusty Springfield (“Wishing and Hoping,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself,” “All I See is You,” and the rocking “Son of a Preacher Man”), Sandie Shaw (“How Can You Tell”), Lulu (“To Sir With Love” and the title song), Shirley Bassey (a parody of “Goldfinger” callec “Coldfinger”) and Cilla Black (“You’re My World”). Mary Hopkins remembrance of “Those Were the Days” added an even deeper sense of nostalgia. The girls even allowed American’s to invade the party by including Dionne Warwick’s hit “Wives and Lovers” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking.” The very slight insignificant contribution of men to the festivities were with Roger Miller’s “England Swings” and Len Barry’s “One-Two-Three” – fun to hear again.

But the ladies of the cast made the evening. Their energy and vocal renderings brought back the era and the memories. The Mary Quant style dresses conceived and created by Costumer Terri Fong-Schmidt conjured images of Twiggy and Sassoon hairstyles. Performing on a set straight out of the American LAUGH-IN show, the girls recreate an English style variety show. Hanna Dotson, Piper Lindsay Arpan, Amy Dollar, Valerie Igoe, and Ryahn Evers are all making their Town Hall debut, as well as Director and Choreographer Kate Vallee. A winning team to be sure, they performed together as though they had been doing the show for months, instead of it being opening night. While all the girls had outstanding solos, Hanna stole my heart with her renditions of the Petula Clark songbook. It was so enjoyable to see each of these talented ladies step into the spotlight time and again and sing their little socks off. Each of them have spent hours in the chorus of other musicals; each of them deserve this chance to show audiences that they have what it takes to carry a show. Good on you, ladies.

The stories and patter between songs enhanced the impression of the (somewhat) innocent 60’s. “I tried coke once but the ice cubes kept getting stuck in my nose!” “In my family, inheritance means my mother’s hips!” A unique little side note: It was so much fun to be there the night that Piper’s husband and son Tucker attended the show. Because every time I glanced down the aisle at Tucker, he was dancing in his seat and miming the words to his mother’s activities having watched her rehearse. Obviously a dancer in the making!

Many theatres are choosing light-hearted small cast productions to ease their way back into the spotlight. This joyful musical was a good choice for Town Hall. For those still leery of public outings, the production is also available for streaming on certain dates – check the website for time and date. It is guaranteed to make you smile and sing along.

A WOW factor of 8.5!!


SHOUT! The Mod Musical
Created by Phillip George, David Lowenstein, Peter Charles Morris
Originally Produced Off-Broadway in New York City
By Victoria Lange & P.P. Piccoli and Mark Schwartz
Developed in association with Amas Musical Theatre, Donna Trinkoff, Producing Director
Presented by Town Hall Arts Center

Streaming from the safety and comfort of your own home – two weekends only!
June 11-13 & June 18-20, 2021  |  Show times Fri/Sat at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 PM
Tickets start at $26

Celebrate the music, fashion and freedom of the 1960s in THAC’s production of, “SHOUT! The Mod Musical.”  This delightful musical revue follows five groovy gals as they come of age in 60s England and chronicles the dawning of the female empowerment movement.  Travel in time in this non-stop journey through the ages.  With its irresistible blend of eye-popping fashions, psychedelic dances and infectious and soulful pop anthems, SHOUT! The Mod Musical appeals to every generation.  This smashing musical will make you throw your head back and SHOUT!

To purchase a ticket to the streaming online production:

  1. Click here. You will be redirected to our streaming host site – ShowTix4U.
  2. Or you can go to the ShowTix4U website and search for “Town Hall Arts Center” in the Find an Organization search bar, and then click on SHOUT! The Mod Musical event. You will be redirected to the ticket purchase page.
  3. Ticket prices start at $26. All ticket prices have access to the same content. One ticket purchase per household required to gain access. Support THAC by purchasing a higher priced ticket or multiple tickets for your household.

Please help THAC continue to produce quality entertainment by purchasing a higher priced ticket, multiple tickets, or by donating to THAC directly.

How to View:

  • Please test your network and internet speeds prior to the online event, and make sure that your streaming device is up-to-date.
  • Patrons can purchase SHOUT! The Mod Musical online streaming tickets in advance or tickets can be purchased the day of the stream. ShowTix4U, the website hosting the online streaming event, accepts all major credit cards.
  • Patron tickets include all event and stream information. Patrons can easily view the stream event by using the direct link on their ticket. Please check your email for your tickets/direct link to the online streaming event.
  • This is scheduled content. Your ticketed event will start promptly at your scheduled time. If you click on your ticket link after the start time, you will miss part of the show.
  • Please plan accordingly. Refunds will not be granted for those who miss parts of the show. It is the patron’s responsibility to plan their time wisely.

More Info – ShowTix4U: 

If you would like more detailed information about the ShowTix4U streaming platform, please check out the links below and you will be redirected to the ShowTix4U website.

Thank you for your continued patronage and please enjoy the show!

Hanna Dotson – Orange
Piper Lindsay Arpan – Green
Amy Dollar – Red
Valerie Igoe – Yellow
Ryahn Evers – Blue
Victoria Holloway – Voice Talent / Understudy
Abigail Kochevar – Voice Talent / Understudy

Kate Vallee – Director / Choreographer
Emily MacIntyre – Stage Manager
Miranda Guettlein – Dialect Coach
Donna Debreceni – Music Director/Keyboards
Seth Alison – Lighting Design
Curt Behm – Sound Design
Matthew Dugger – Sound Board Operator
Terri Fong-Schmidt – Costume Design
Technical Director – Mike Haas
Greg Kendall – Set/Prop Design
Kevin Chung – Theater Technician
Dustin Hartley – Scenic Artist / Videographer

SHOUT! The Mod Musical – May 21-June 20, 2021

SHOUT! The Mod Musical
Created by Phillip George, David Lowenstein, Peter Charles Morris
Originally Produced Off-Broadway in New York City
By Victoria Lange & P.P. Piccoli and Mark Schwartz
Developed in association with Amas Musical Theatre, Donna Trinkoff, Producing Director
Presented by Town Hall Arts Center
May 21 – June 20, 2021  |  Tickets $37-$52
Evening performances begin at 7:30 PM and matinees at 2:00 PM.

Celebrate the music, fashion and freedom of the 1960s in THAC’s production of, “SHOUT! The Mod Musical.”  This delightful musical revue follows five groovy gals as they come of age in 60s England and chronicles the dawning of the female empowerment movement.  Travel in time in this non-stop journey through the ages.  With its irresistible blend of eye-popping fashions, psychedelic dances and infectious and soulful pop anthems, SHOUT! The Mod Musical appeals to every generation.  This smashing musical will make you throw your head back and SHOUT!

Returning to our beloved, historic theater located at 2450 W. Main Street, Littleton, CO. With new safety protocols and precautions in place, we look forward to seeing you soon at THAC! Thank you for your support during these unprecedented times. We hope to continue to bring high quality live entertainment as we have for almost 40 years!

Hanna Dotson – Orange
Piper Lindsay Arpan – Green
Amy Dollar – Red
Valerie Igoe – Yellow
Ryahn Evers – Blue
Victoria Holloway – Voice Talent / Understudy
Abigail Kochevar – Voice Talent / Understudy

Kate Vallee – Director / Choreographer
Emily MacIntyre – Stage Manager
Miranda Guettlein – Dialect Coach
Donna Debreceni – Music Director/Keyboards
Seth Alison – Lighting Design
Curt Behm – Sound Design
Matthew Dugger – Sound Board Operator
Terri Fong-Schmidt – Costume Design
Technical Director – Mike Haas
Greg Kendall – Set/Prop Design
Kevin Chung – Theater Technician
Dustin Hartley – Scenic Artist / Videographer



  • No tickets will be printed for this production. All patrons who purchase tickets will receive e-tickets.
  • Any patrons experiencing difficulty with the technology aspect of e-tickets may contact the Box Office. If you do not have access to your ticket at check-in, we will have a printed list of all audience members and can verify your ticket from that list.


  • Please be advised that WEEKENDS ON MAIN Al Fresco Dining continues this year from May 7-October 30. Main Street will close to traffic on Fridays at 4 PM and reopen Saturdays at 11 PM. There will be no parking along Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights. Please plan your trip accordingly.
  • FREE PARKING can be found along the street (2-hour time limit from 9 AM – 6 PM)
  • FREE Light Rail parking lots (at the corner of Prince and Alamo or South Rio Grande and Main Street)


  • Outside of the front doors of the theater, will be social distance markers. Please keep a 6’ distance between parties and stay with your party on these markers until it is your turn to check-in. Patrons must observe social distancing of at least 6 feet with persons you do not quarantine/live with.
  • There will be a table set up in the front of the lobby where THAC staff members and volunteers take temperatures and make sure all patrons are wearing masks upon entering. You will be also be asked if you currently have a cough or any flu-like symptoms. Please stay home if you are experiencing any sign or symptom of illness.
  • Masks covering mouth and nose are required for all persons during the entire performance and while inside the THAC building. Any patron not wearing a mask will be asked to put one on or leave the event. The only exception to this rule is the actors, who will be unmasked to perform while safely separated from the audience.
  • Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the venue for your convenience.


  • All attendees must provide their name upon check-in for proper COVID tracing as required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Tri-County Health, and the Five Star Recovery Program.
  • Check-in will begin 30 minutes before curtain. Evening performances – seating will begin at 7:00 PM. Matinees – seating will begin at 1:30 PM.
  • After temperature check and ticket scanning, patrons will be directed to the Main Stage stairs, or the secondary theater stairs, restrooms, or Stanton Art Gallery area. Please follow all posted traffic patterns and maintain 6’ between patrons outside of your party.


  • Each section of the lobby will have socially distanced spaces marked on the floor, along with traffic pattern signage posted throughout the building.


  • We have an incredible exhibit in our Stanton Art Gallery. Please enjoy the current art show while being mindful of your distance between other patrons and staff. There will be spaces marked on the floor that are 6’ apart. Please follow signage directing traffic flow.


  • We will utilize both sets of lobby stairs as entrances to the theater to allow for extra social distancing. Each staircase will have social distance space markers on the floor to indicate where patrons can wait upon entering the theater.
  • A THAC staff member or volunteer will be present to ensure patrons are observing social distancing rules and to help direct them to their proper seating section.


  • Town Hall Arts Center is wheelchair accessible.
  • Patrons who need access to the elevator will wait on social distance spacers in the holding section of the Stanton Art Gallery.
  • Only parties that arrive together/live together are allowed on the elevator at one time. The elevator is an oversized freight elevator, so social distance will need to be observed with the elevator operator.


  • At intermission, one staircase will be strictly an entrance, and one will be an exit, allowing patrons to come and go as needed while observing social distancing.
  • Once the show has ended, THAC staff and volunteers will direct traffic and empty out one section at a time.
  • Patrons needing to exit the theater at intermission will be directed to the proper staircase by THAC staff/volunteer.


  • Stanchions and social distance markers will be utilized to keep restroom traffic socially distanced. Every other stall, urinal, and sink will be rendered unavailable.
  • Please observe a “2 in / 2 out” rule to prevent overcrowding. Staff and volunteers will be present to ensure patrons follow this rule.
    Soap is available at all usable sinks as well as single-use disposable paper towels.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner during Act 1 of every performance and after the performance.
    Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the venue for your convenience.


  • THAC is offering limited seating with a maximum of 60 seats per show. Tickets are sold in socially distanced groupings of 1, 2, or 3 seats. Every other row has been blocked off as unusable for social distancing.
  • Seats open for sale have been measured and observe social distancing of at least 6’ apart, ensuring that only parties who arrive together will be seated together.
  • Several pairs of seats have been removed to create aisles so that patrons can reach their seats without coming within 6 feet of other parties. The front row has been removed to allow for further social distancing between performers and audience.
  • The seating area will be cleaned and sanitized with hospital-grade cleaner after every performance in preparation for the next performance/business day.
  • Seating will begin 30 minutes before curtain.


  • The THAC tech team has installed plexi-glass walls surrounding the stage to further protect the audience and artists from germs and air particles. The performers and musicians will always remain behind these walls.
  • We have installed HEPA air filters both onstage and among the audience to assist with proper ventilation.
  • We have increased the cleaning and disinfecting throughout the venue by utilizing hospital-grade cleaners. Our professional cleaning crew uses electro-static cleaning equipment after every performance. For more information on cleaning methods and practices, please visit the links below.


  • We have discontinued our concessions and bar services and will no longer offer cough drops.
  • The water fountain will not be available. THAC patrons are encouraged to bring a personal water bottle.
  • No hard copies of programs available. We will offer programs in digital form only. Programs will be sent to ticketholders via email or by scanning the QR code in the lobby of the theater.
  • No Will-Call or Box Office services during performances. The Box Office will be open normal business hours – M-F 10A – 3 P.

To purchase tickets to this show, please click here.



Created by Phillip George & David Lowenstein
“Mod Musings” & “Groovy Gab” by Peter Charles Morris & Phillip George
Orchestrations & Additional Arrangements by Bradley Veith
Originally Directed Off-Broadway by Phillip George
Originally Choreographed Off-Broadwy by David Lowenstein
Originally produced Off-Broadway in New York City by
Victoria Lang & P.P Piccoli and Mark Schwartz

Developed in association with Amas Musical Theatre, Donna Trinkoff, Producing Director

OUT FRONT Magazine Show Review: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

By Addison Herron-Wheeler (OUT FRONT Magazine)

We’ve now heard this a million times, but the past year-and-a-half has been incredibly tough on the theatre community. Like other entertainment industries, it was virtually destroyed by COVID, with any remaining shows moving online entirely for a livestreamed experience.

Now, as the world is finally getting vaccinated and opening back up, shows are slowly returning, and one of them is Town Hall Arts Center’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.

For those still not fully vaccinated, or just feeling a little squirmy about the idea of going back to in-person shows, put your worry at rest. Town Hall has done an amazing job of making things safe. The actors, who have to undergo regular COVID testing, are encased in a glass box on the stage. While this may sound odd, it doesn’t impact visibility or sound. There is still a live band, nestled to the side of the stage and all wearing masks, and you can still feel the energy coming from the performance and get that live theatre feel, instead of the livestream blues.

There are also plenty of precautions in place when it comes to the audience. Shows are smaller capacity in order to make sure parties can distance from other parties, and exiting the theatre is done safely, in shifts.

COVID precautions aside, the show itself is also wonderful. For those familiar with the classic musical, there aren’t really any surprises or new twists, but each of the characters is warm, funny, philosophical, and engaging, just as they are intended to be. Probably because live theatre has been missing for so long, and the actors are so excited to get back in the spotlight, each performer seems to be throwing themselves 110 percent into what they are doing to tell a compelling and timeless story.

Similarly, the stage accommodations don’t do anything to diminish an amazing, stand-out, set and scenery. While the set is simple and childlike, intentionally, of course, the bright colors in the costumes and set pieces weave seamlessly in with the story, and you get some cool lighting effects and even a kite that really flies.

If you’re itching for some live theatre done safely, make sure to catch You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton, Thursday through Sunday and running through April 18.

Review: ‘Peanuts’ gang takes to stage

By Sonya Ellingboe (Littleton Independent)

Audience members were scattered sparsely around Town Hall Arts Center and the stage is wrapped with a plastic barrier, but it was indeed a joy to settle in for a live performance last weekend as pianist Donna Debreceni and percussionist Sean Case played the opening music for “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center.

Centered on stage, we see a large red doghouse as lights go up and we welcome Charles M. Schulz’s beloved crew, who first showed up in October 1950 in the syndicated comic strip, “Peanuts.”

American cartoonist and Peanuts creator Schulz (1922-2000) was born in Minneapolis and lived and worked for years in Santa Rosa, California, where a museum honors his memory.

My concerns about whether that barrier would affect the sound were gone immediately as the cast moved into a series of vignettes from the beloved Schulz comic strip. With book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, additional dialogue by Michael Mayer, additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, this musical, based on what was probably the most famous comic strip of all, is a charmer.

Carter Edward Smith, looking suitably bewildered in his yellow shirt with the black zigzag on it, plays Charlie Brown on a stage he last played on three years ago, while Brekken Baker is bouncy, bossy Lucy Van Pelt, in her first appearance at THAC.

(An old lemonade stand serves as the office for her psychiatric services — 5 cents, please!)

Widely-traveled Mica Dominguez-Robinson appears as Charlie’s little sister, Sally Brown, and Andrew Alber, who appeared in “Cabaret” at THAC, plays Lucy’s blanket-toting little brother, Linus.

THAC regular Matt LaFontaine, who recently appeared as Monty in the virtual Town Hall production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” is philosophical pianist Schroeder, while Logan Traver, also a former “Cabaret” cast member, wears a white suit with a big black spot on his back and reclines on a bright red doghouse — that lovable Snoopy, of course! (He too was in the large “Cabaret” cast.)

He flies with the Red Baron and worries a lot about his supper, which does arrive, of course. Sweet performance.

Expert director Nick Sugar (“Cabaret” Director and Emcee} has returned to direct and choreograph this whimsical work, delivering his usual polished production, despite minimal set pieces and the constraints of a clear wall between cast and audience. The play, originally produced in 1967, does not include some characters who appeared later in the strip. But we certainly can enjoy this crew as we picture Schulz’s whimsical little guys and girls …

The “Happiness” song is perhaps best remembered, but none of the songs ever took on a life of its own like some musical numbers have. Schulz published a book called “Happiness is a Warm Puppy.”

The musical is said, in a review we found, to be based on the cartoonist’s own life — he had a dog as a kid.

Schulz won numerous awards during his lifetime and a posthumous congressional Gold Medal awarded the year after he died. He left a body of work that has indeed become part of America’s cultural fabric.

Review: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

By Beki Pineda

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN – Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner based on the comic strip by Charles M. Schultz; Directed by Nick Sugar. Produced by Town Hall Arts Center (2450 West Main, Littleton) through April 18. Tickets available at 303-794-2787 or

You’re a good man, Nickie Sugar, for bringing this nostalgic valentine to childhood into our lives at a time when we all long for the “good ‘ol days.” You knew just what would make us smile, remember, and rejoice that here we are again in a live theatre watching live actors perform together in their own bubble (or, in this case, fishbowl) with other audience members sitting two or three seats away from us. Good for Town Hall as well for arranging all of this and making us feel as safe as observers at an aquarium.

Designed as a comic strip with short vignettes enhanced with music, the whimsical script explores the highs and lows of childhood. From a D on your homework to the successful flight of a kite. From the terror of first love to the affection of a big sister. Playing baseball together and playing with your dog. All of these and many more fun memories are played out for our enjoyment. Carter Edward Smith uses his “dopey” vibe (remember Seymour?) to great effect as the sometime clueless Charlie Brown. His unfulfilled yearning for the Little Red-Headed Girl brings back nostalgic longing for your own first loves. Like the puppets in AVENUE Q, Charlies is on a search for happiness and what makes a “good man”. One conclusion that he very wisely comes to is that if he can find happiness for himself, he can then help others find their own happiness.

Charlie’s high flying dog, Snoopy, is given an energetic portrayal by Logan Traver as he chases the Red Baron and frolics through the musical numbers. He describes a dog’s life and decides he’s got it pretty easy. Until someone forgets to feed him. Who among us as we struggle to give up cigarettes or sugar cannot relate to Little Brother Linus as he tries to rid himself of his security blanket. We watch as he throws it on the ground and walks away . . . . and then desperately runs back to collect it. Andrew Alber makes that struggle real, painful and humorous – all at the same time. Matt LaFontaine brings his bouncy charm to the role of Schroeder, the virtuoso on a toy piano who perfects the definition of aloofness as Lucy attempts to coerce him into a relationship. He even manages to pull together a celebration of Beethoven’s birthday.

The women in the cast also play an important role. Lucy is given obnoxious charm by Brekken Baker while Little Sister Sallie comes to life with the help of Mica Dominguez-Robinson. Lucy’s unrequited affection for Schroeder leads her to finally conclude “Never try to discuss marriage with a musician!” Sallie becomes thoroughly disgusted with a D she got on her homework and uses it as an excuse to create an ever changing philosophy for handling disappointment.

Happily Town Hall has managed to hang on to their top notch crew of technicians. They have created the safe environment in which the actors can perform and the audience can watch with security. The plexiglass shields which circle the stage space create the slightest little distraction because of the occasional reflections on the inner sides. It made me wonder if the cast was watching themselves perform or if they could see through the reflections to the audience. The crew also deserves kudos for the “Kite Gag.” Charlie Brown tries to fly his kite around the notorious kite-eating tree. He successfully gets it aloft, enjoys his few minutes of triumph before the kite starts to fly away and then finally explodes. This difficult special effect was performed flawlessly by all involved. Even though it sounds like a full show band, the on-line program gives musical credit to only Donna Kolpan Debrecini on keyboards and Sean Case on percussion. All I can say is WOW! Good job, everyone.

A WOW factor of 8.5!!

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging


The Board and Staff of Town Hall Arts Center has begun the work to educate ourselves, and on dismantling systems of oppression and racism in our country, and to change our theater’s culture.

We want to recognize the importance of the principles of DEIB: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; and to make a conscious effort to embrace the diverse narratives and voices in our community. We recognize that this commitment to diversity must be a mindful, proactive, and ongoing effort. We may not always get it right, but we will never stop trying to improve.

At Town Hall Arts Center we strive to elevate and inspire the individuals and communities who have been historically underrepresented, misrepresented, or excluded from our field. We will focus our efforts on connecting and building meaningful relationships across all cultures. We believe that together we can begin to make this change and reach higher levels because of our diversity.

Town Hall Arts Center commits to being an ally and advocate for these diverse voices, and we will continue to expand opportunities for artists through our diverse selection of presentations, casting, and creative teams. We will improve our workplace culture and create an environment of belonging for all people.

Town Hall Arts Center will continue ongoing anti-racism training for all our Board and Staff so they may contribute to the organizational culture that supports all people that identify as black, indigenous, people of color, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ and of different religious or ethical beliefs.

As long as we are willing to listen and learn, we will do the work and move forward as a diverse and inclusive community making everyone feel like they belong. This will make us greater.


THAC would like to acknowledge that the land we occupy today has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst a number of Indigenous peoples, specifically the Cheyenne, Ute, and Sioux. THAC respects the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this territory on which we gather.