Good grief! ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ jingles into Kingsborough

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage_01 (Photo by Dan Norman)
The doctor is in: A live, musical production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will play On Stage at Kingsborough on Nov. 17.
Photo by Dan Norman

It’s a Christmas miracle, Charlie Brown!

A live performance of the beloved holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will warm hearts in Brooklyn this weekend. The show, at On Stage at Kingsborough in Manhattan Beach on Nov. 17, stays true to the spirit of the animated 1965 special, said its producer, with a live jazz trio playing the iconic Vince Guaraldi score, even while adding a few short scenes and a holiday concert performed by the characters.

“Watching ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ was a tradition in my household,” said Todd Gershwin. “It seems like one of those unique, iconic parts of American culture.” 

Gershwin, a nephew of legendary American composers George and Ira Gershwin, has produced the show for three years, and he said that each year has been better than the last. This year’s performance will feature video projections for the first time, which will bring the performance even closer to its source material, and immerses the audience in the world of Charlie Brown, said Gershwin.

The show also features recognizable set pieces from the original show, including Lucy’s therapy stand, Schroeder’s piano, and Snoopy’s dog house — with an actor in a dog costume playing the eccentric pooch. 

This “Charlie Brown” aims to stay as true to the original as possible, according to its producer.
Photo by Dan Norman

The show will launch a national tour in December, but Brooklynites will get the first peek at the production. Kingsborough Community College provided space for the production to build its set pieces and to rehearse for 10 days, making the show a homegrown effort, said Gershwin, who used to live in the borough.

“The school and the community have been amazing helping us build and launch this show,” Gershwin said. “It really is a Brooklyn-made and -launched production.” 

Gershwin sang the praises of Charlie Brown’s ability to appeal to viewers from across the age spectrum. 

“It’s a really fun show for grandparents and parents and children and families to experience together, and we encourage folks to take a little time to have a special experience together,” he said.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” at On Stage at Kingsborough [2001 Oriental Blvd. at Oxford Street in Manhattan Beach, (718) 368–5596, www.onstageatkingsborough.org]. Nov. 17 at 2 pm. $13.