Lisa and John Reimler grew up with the “Peanuts” comic strip, holiday specials and both Broadway plays.
“Both of us had the big ‘Peanuts Gallery’ book on our homes’ coffee tables,” John said. “We both had that book memorized as kids.”
So it comes as no surprise that they have directed “Charlie Brown,” which they will be directing at Onalaska High School, before. The original show debuted off-Broadway in 1967 and proved highly successful. It was also one of the first successful touring shows.
“This show holds so much nostalgia for us,” John said. “We were young, green teachers the first time we directed it. I think it was our third year of teaching. In fact, our Snoopy is now touring as George Washington in ‘Hamilton.’ When he heard we were doing it, he sent his best wishes. He claimed it was still one of his favorite roles to play. Snoopy is so Zen and fun. He reminds all of us to enjoy the moment and not to take life too seriously.”
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They are again producing this audience favorite about the lovable loser who doesn’t always succeed at life.
“Charlie Brown is so relatable. He is all of us. I adore all the characters. One of my main regrets is that I was never able to be in this show,” Lisa Reimler said.
Charlie Brown is the second fall musical that OHS will have done using a rented track as opposed to a live orchestra.
“It’s a challenge not to have a real pit, but the last several years we have had such strong singers, that we decided to tackle this,” John Reimler said. “We have a truly talented group, and the show is so delightful. It reminds us that there are indeed tough days, but we’ll make it; thanks to our friends, family and the simple joys of life. And what a great way to start the holiday season — remembering to be thankful for all the little things. We are also very lucky and blessed to have Alivia Schmidt-Sanders. an OHS drama alum and current Viterbo student, act as our musical director. She’s done an awesome job.”
The cast includes Elliot deBoer as Charlie Brown, Ethan Furlano and Kylie Olesevich as Snoopy, Rachel Schoenecker as Lucy, Faith Haun as Sally Brown, Cameron Cavaiulo and Harley Pippenger as Schroeder, Andrew Kirchoff as Linus, Abby Strain as Woodstock, Kylie Mohr as Marcie, Carlie Thornton as Eudora, Jonah Harlan as Five, Genevieve Hindsley as Violet, Klaraleigh Sanders-Mikkelson as Peppermint Patty, Emma McAndrews as Sophie, Grace Johns as Frieda, and Kristin Schoenecker as Sophie. Crew members include: Connor Pangburn, Marina Howard, Jamie Kalember, Layla Newhouse, Aidan Mott, Liz O’Neill and Wilson Graham.
The student director is Nadia Talbi.