Imagine the Peanuts gang—now in high school—with their share of high school problems. Charlie Brown (now called CB) is more confused about life than ever, having had Snoopy put to sleep after his beloved beagle was infected with rabies. CB's sister (Sally) constantly changes personalities in her search for an identity, and is currently a Wiccan performance artist. Van (aka Linus) has turned to marijuana as his crutch after the destruction of his beloved blanket, and Matt (Pig Pen) has become a cleanliness-obsessed, violent homophobe.
Van's sister (Lucy) is incarcerated in the Daisy Hill Mental Hospital, the result of having jealously set the Little Red-Haired Girl's hair on fire. Peppermint Patty and her toadie, Marcie, have here been transformed into Tricia and Marcy, party girls who put booze in their milk at lunch and trash other students, especially the unseen "fat Frieda." And Beethoven (Schroeder), a survivor of parental sexual abuse, is the target of the bullies at school, led by Matt.
Okay, maybe these are a bit more than mere high school problems, but such is the milieu of the characters inhabiting Bert V. Royal's Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, now playing at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre Café in Silverlake. For copyright reasons, their names have been changed, but we know who they are. It's been a favorite of theater troupes around the country since its off-Broadway debut in 2004, and it's easy to see why: production costs are minimal and it seems like a fun piece to perform.
The Linden Bay Collaborative's presentation, under the direction of Daniel Su, is a fine mounting of the piece, with uniformly good performances. Julie Bersani brings a real spark to her performance as Van's Lithium-addled, pyromanic sister, and Nate Beals is amusing as the equally drugged-out but philosophical Van.