Even at just over an hour in the original version preserved here with one of the original stage cast, Clark Gesner's perfect translation of Charles Schultz's beloved "Peanuts" characters to the stage charmed Off-Broadway audiences for a then spectacular 1,597 performances from March 7, 1967 to February 14, 1971, and has been a mainstay in stock and even on Broadway (twice!) ever since.
While this Hallmark production is basically faithful to the original concept and staging, Wendel Burton (of the San Fransisco stage cast) is slightly blander that Gary Burghoff's New York original (for much of a generation, when Burghoff played "Radar O'Reilly" in Mash, it was devastating - Charlie Brown had grown up and been drafted!), but Bill Hinnant's Snoopy, though a few years older than he was on stage in the original cast, still has the right touch of insouciant energy (and unlike the misguided LATER Peanuts musical, SNOOPY, he still LIKES Charlie Brown).
"Happiness" is, in addition to one of the hit songs in the show, the musical itself - long over due for the video release its 1985 animated remake had almost from the start.
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