Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
William J Geery Theater2130 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
We all know it: Peanuts is secretly the most depressing stuff that has ever graced the comic section of a newspaper. Charlie Brown usually loses, but in the end, learns a cute lesson about friendship or hope or whatever.
Screw all that kid stuff. Author Bert V. Royal had the idea of taking the characters of Charles M. Schulz’s masterwork and extrapolating what they would be like in high school. Under the direction of E. Hodge and Eason Donner, EMH Productions presents Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead.
CB/Charlie Brown’s (Kevin Frame) dog has just passed away—the character names here have been changed for copyright reasons—and he searches his high school for opinions on life, death and love from his longtime childhood friends.
This Peanuts world is filled with sex, drugs, violence and cursing; Van/Linus (Brennan Villados) has become a hopeless stoner (who smoked his blanket) and Matt/Pig-Pen (Jacob Vuksinich) is a coke-sniffing, germaphobic, gay-bashing closet queer.
The performances keep up with the craziness of the play. Villados possesses excellent timing as Van, especially with his occasional stoner “whoa” moments. Beethoven/Schroeder (Declan Gallagher) performs well, giving his character an empathetic quality.
But something is missing throughout, and it has to do with the script. While at times it’s interesting to see how each of these scarily insightful children would grow up, the play is more a vehicle for its anti-bullying message.
Ultimately, it’s a concept that seems slapped on for kitschy, shock-value effect. The message is important, but it’s like a poorly written chimera of Peanuts and Spring Awakening.
This play does get you thinking about the possibilities, however: About Beetle Bailey dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder or about Hi and Lois finding out Chip got a girl pregnant. Or Blondie divorcing Dagwood. Finally.