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Posted on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 7:22 a.m.

Ann Arbor Musical Theatre Works to present 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'

By Jenn McKee


Colby Spencer, Matthew Kurzyniec, Allison Pearlman, and Etan Klein write a book report in AAMTW's "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Musical Theater Works

Though you might not have heard of it, the Ann Arbor Musical Theater Works company - now staging “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at the Children’s Creative Center Theater in Ann Arbor - has been around since 2000.

Ron Baumanis, along with 2 co-founders, aimed to present professional quality (non-Equity) musical theater to area stages.

“At the time, there was no professional caliber musical theater company in Ann Arbor - though there were a lot of professional level actors and artistic directors,” said Baumanis, director of “Charlie Brown,” and the sole remaining steward of AAMTW.

The company staged “The Last 5 Years” in Jackson during the summer of 2012, and did a workshop of “Floyd Collins” several years ago (a full production never came to fruition due to venue availability issues).


”You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”

  • Who: Ann Arbor Musical Theater Works
  • What: A 1967 Off-Broadway musical based on Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters, with book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner.
  • Where: Children’s Creative Center Theater, at 1600 Pauline in Ann Arbor.
  • When: Thursday and Friday, August 29-30, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, August 31 at 8:30 p.m. (to accommodate traffic following the 3:30 p.m. U-M game).
  • How much: Tickets cost $20 (Thursday’s fundraiser afterglow costs $25), available at or by phone at 734-546-5087.

Because AAMTW hasn’t had a set schedule, it’s generally flown beneath the radar, and Baumanis has chosen shows that best fit the performers currently swimming in his local talent pool.

But “Charlie Brown” - featuring Charles M. Schulz's famous Peanuts gang characters - also already had a special place in Baumanis’ heart. “I played Charlie Brown in a revival Off-Broadway in the ‘80s and loved it,” said Baumanis. “The show is entirely different when adults play the roles. … Andrew Buckshaw as Charlie Brown is an up and rising musical theater star. Amazing voice.”

The show also features Allison and Hannah Pearlman (sisters to TV and movie star Zack), “superb character actresses” according to Baumanis, as Lucy and Peppermint Patty; Matthew Kurzyniec “couldn't be a more perfect Linus”; Etan Klein “makes a perfect foil” as Schroeder; and Colby Spencer Cesaro “is an excellent singer and dancer, and Snoopy was the logical choice for her - plus, she taps, so it let me put a tap sequence into the show.”

Baumanis tries, when possible, to combine AAMTW shows with a fundraising opportunity for a local group. “Charlie Brown”’s Thursday, August 29 performance, including optional afterglow, will benefit the U-M medical school’s Timothy RB Johnson MD Professorship in Global Women’s Health.

“The theme of the show - family-friendly and upbeat - was a great match to the fundraiser,” said Baumanis. “ … Teaching doctors how to care for women and children in international settings with woeful medical resources.”

It’s a cause that just might make Snoopy dance.

Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.


Lisa D

Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

With this super talented cast, the show will be amazing!! And how great that they are also donating funds to support the Dr. Tim Johnson Professorship in Global Health! Can you tell us who are the other two founders of this group? Lisa Dengiz


Mon, Aug 26, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Hi Lisa -- I am not sure the other two members want their names in the paper since they both now work at other venues, but I will leave it up to them if they would like to chime in when they see this.