June 21, 2013
3 mins read

Players by the Sea presented a special show from June 14 to June 22 that was not a part of their regular season. The efforts of “Dog Sees God” Director Bradley M. Akers and Players by the Sea, always seeking new works and diverse subjects, brought this production to fruition.
This is an after-the-fact review; mainly because so many plays were opening at other theatres where we had long standing review commitments during the same time frame. What attracted us to this show was the talented cast of young actors we have seen in other shows, mainly at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. In fact, we can speculate that the majority of the audience for the run of this play attended because they knew cast members and not because they were drawn by the content.
The creative mind and talent of the late Charles Schultz, made “Peanuts” and all its characters loveable and world famous. Bert V. Royal, author of “Dog Sees God”, has done a takeoff on “Peanuts”, and has re-imagined all these characters as teenagers in high school. The names have been changed, not to protect the innocent but to avoid any potential lawsuits from the Schultz estate. Royal’s concept of the gang makes for a very dark comedy, albeit one with a message.
The play opened with CB/Charlie Brown sitting atop a dog house lamenting the death of his beloved beagle. Yes, one of the most colorful and most loved of cartoon characters ever had contracted rabies and had to be put to an untimely death. DA Senior DEVIN REARDON was excellent as CB, and this was the most demanding role from the standpoint of time on stage. CB’s sister (not identified by name), played by KATIE SACKS, does a terrific monologue in goth attire about turning into a platypus. (We told you this is a dark and quirky comedy). Tricia/Peppermint Patty (HANNAH MOGAN) and Marcy (ABBY GOMEZ), are best buddies who enjoy chatting, getting drunk, and three way sex.
LINDSAY CURRY, identified only as Van’s sister (actually Lucy), is locked up in solitary confinement for acting on pyromaniac impulses when she set fire to a girl’s hair. Ms. Curry’s was the only non-student in the play and her scene in the jail was one of the best in the show and certainly the funniest.
JAY COBIAN played Van (the Linus character), perhaps the most intelligent of the gang in this show, despite being a stoner and always smoking grass. His oddest scene was when he imagined his guitar was a bong and he kept lighting the strings at the bottom and “smoking”. (Actually real bongs may be outlawed in this city).
Remember Schroeder, who was always playing the piano? Well, here he was Beethoven, still obsessed with the piano, but a lonely social outcast, and gay. This role was very sensitively played by TYLER C. RAMIREZ.
Well, we guess you can say we saved the worst for last. Playing Matt/Pigpen as a homophobic menacing bully is PABLO J. MILLA. We have seen Mr. Milla in a number of plays locally and this is the most unusual character he has ever portrayed. In a violent scene, Matt, who was constantly bullying Beethoven, attacks him, smashing all his fingers so he can no longer play music and driving him to commit suicide. Interestingly, Matt appears in the next scene, apparently not even arrested despite the fact all the students knew of his intense animosity toward the young pianist. (The play was close to two hours long at this point and perhaps there was no time for justice).
Tyler Ramirez’s set design lined the walls with blackboards that the characters used for writing graffiti , and added accents in primary colors, while Sam Stark’s lighting design flooded the stage with color, an approach that underscored the play’s comic-strip origin and school house setting.
Despite the subject matter, the entire cast delivered solid performances. As a play it contained prejudice, torture, suicide, bullying, sexual situations, abortion, and drinking and drug usage. Did we miss anything? We have to hand it to Playwright Royal, (who is originally from the Jacksonville area but is now involved in the film world in Los Angeles) for using the “Peanuts” characters as a basis for his script. This play, since it debuted at the 2004 New York Fringe Festival, had an Off Broadway production and has been done over the years by many theatres all over the US. Without the tie-in to Charlie and the gang, we don’t think it would have been nearly as successful.
BRADLEY M. AKERS is a DA graduate now living in Philadelphia and involved in several theatre projects. We do admire Mr. Akers directing talents in dealing with the play’s challenging material. Our first encounter with Bradley was when we saw him as one of the children in “The Sound of Music” at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre. Good grief, he has come a long way!

Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

Current Issue


Submit Events




Current Month

Follow FOLIO!

Previous Story

Contractors Prey on Recent Victims

Next Story

Local Teen Bands Compete

Latest from On Stage

Urine Good Hands at the 5andDime

Urinetown: The Musical, the quirky satirical musical comedy with music by Mark Hollman, lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, and book by Kotis hit the floor at the 5&Dime this past weekend.  The premise of the show is a time when water is scarce, so it is a privilege to

Drop ’n’ Dance

Words by Emily Cannon “I thought dance was just an after-school activity for kids.”  In today’s world people are trying to find different ways to work out without just lifting weights and going on a run. I myself have tried a variety of classes trying to find something I enjoyed

July 2024 Theater/Dance Listing

Through July 7 “Seussical the Musical” The Island Theater, Fleming Island “Always a Bridesmaid”  Limelight Theatre Through July 22 “First Date” Amelia Community Theatre, Fernandina Beach Through Aug. 11 “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Alhambra Theatre & Dining July 4-25 “Ritz Museum After Dark” Ritz

July 2024 Comedy Listing

JULY 3 Comedians in Drag Doing Comedy Cafe Eleven JULY 5-6 First Coast Comedy  The Main Event, 7:30 p.m.  Adult Show (21+ only), 10 p.m.  First Coast Comedy JULY 6-7 DL Hughley Comedy Zone JULY 10 Poker Face Comedy Show Good Fellas Cigar Lounge JULY

July 2024 Concert Listing

JULY 1 Remo Drive Underbelly JULY 2 T-Pain with special guests LaRussell, NandoSTL and Young Ca$h St. Augustine Amphitheatre Bodybox, Restrictor Plate & more Underbelly JULY 5 The Spill Canvas with Have Mercy and Matt Rosa Underbelly JP Soars Cafe Eleven, St.

Don't Miss

The Avett Brothers

November 15 The Avett Brothers St. Augustine Amphitheatre (904) 471-1965

Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone “Twitter is the postcards in my head.” It’s