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'Charlie Brown Christmas' is more than a scraggly tree and songs

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Some local actors, as well as a director, are exploring the deeper meaning of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at T.H.E. Actors Workshop in Folsom. The play, adapted for the stage by Deanne Eldridge, brings the two-dimensional holiday classic to life. Helmed by first-time director Emma Eldridge, the production features a cast of 10 as well as numerous other volunteers to help with lighting, sound and all the other tasks required to put on a live-theatrical show. Much like the beloved cartoon, Charlie Brown (Andrew Devivi-Beck) questions the meaning of Christmas. Is it about presents? Finding the perfect tree? Decorations? Money? He seeks the help of Lucy (Joanna Rehwald), who dispenses advice for a nickel at her psychiatry stand. She suggests he take on a leadership role and get involved by directing the Christmas play. When they need to find a tree for the play, he and Linus (Samuel Bowers) return with a less-than-perfect pick. This puts the rest of the Peanuts gang in a foul mood as they had all requested a “modern” aluminum tree. Lucy even wanted to paint it pink. Standouts included Mia Comstock, who played Sally, Taryn Colburn, who played Frieda, Bowers, Rehwal and Devivi-Beck. I recommend this one. The show is family friendly and a length that younger children can handle (about an hour). “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Where: T.H.E. Actors Workshop and Integral Theatre Company, 800 Reading St., Folsom When: noon and 2 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 17, 4 p.m. Dec. 4 Tickets: $7, cash only Information: actorsworkshop.net Rating: 4 out of 5 stars