Charlie Christmas; Matchbox brings Peanuts gang together on Paramount stage

Published 8:38 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christmas time is here, Charlie Brown.

At least that’s what the Matchbox Children’s Theatre will be saying as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” takes the main stage at the Historic Paramount Theatre, with opening night this week.

Matchbox Children’s Theatre launches its 44th season with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at 7 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 9, with the stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer based on the animated television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson.

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Those in attendance will recognize the beloved Peanuts gang created by Charles Schultz such as Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Sally, and the lovable loser Charlie Brown, who will discover the true meaning of Christmas, who will be played by 11 actors breathing life into the characters.

Both individual and season tickets are now on sale at the Austin ArtWorks Center and online at Tickets will also be available at the Paramount Box Office starting one hour before each show, including the season ticket option. Tickets for ages 14 and younger are $6 and $10 for adults. Children ages 2 and younger can get in for free.

The Peanuts gang frolics in the snow during rehearsal for “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Eric Johnson/

Co-directors Janet Anderson and Cate Goodnature teamed up for their fourth consecutive year to kick off the Matchbox Children’s Theatre season. Anderson noted that this production includes special effects such as snowfall on the stage run by Scott Anderson, who’s overseeing the lights and sound. Goodnature had also designed and made the costumes to fit the theme, with assistance of Andie Lewis, who also plays Snoopy in the show.

“It has been going well,” Anderson said. “We’re really excited and added a preview section that highlights Charles Schultz. There’s a lot of theatre magic.”

The actors have been rehearsing Sunday through Thursday for a month, working with individuals from a wide range of age from children to adults, and the show runtime is just under an hour. To which, Anderson said, “we feel that helps balance of learning from each other, and the quality of the show and interaction of developing characters.”

“Really, the magic of the Peanuts characters live on stage and the audience, they’re familiar with them and even little kids with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus,” she said. “We’re looking forward to seeing their reactions at some of the theatre magic and people getting into the holiday spirit.”

Cast list

  • Finn LaVallie – Charlie Brown
  • Andie Lewis – Snoopy
  • Jadon Fimon – Linus
  • Nikki Phillips – Lucy
  • Taylor Hinrichs – Sally
  • Nathan Martinson – Schroeder
  • Madison Branchaud – Patty
  • Abe Phillips – Pig Pen
  • Ryan Capp – Frieda
  • Peytyn Johnson – Violet
  • Kollin Miller – Shermy