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Good Grief: Belleville Actor Take on Title Role in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

Eric Parkin portrays lead peanut in Hackensack production this week.

Eric Parkin’s resume as an actor includes stints as zombies and gangsters.  

But recently, the 48-year-old Belleville resident landed his dream role: put-upon elementary school student Charlie Brown.

This week, Parkin is giving life to the beloved Charles Shultz in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

“For me, there’s not so many roles,” Parkin said. “I’m 48 years old. I’m bald. I look like Charlie brown with a big bald head.” 

Parkin, a former musician, started acting three years ago and has since become an enthusiastic thespian, performing in 30 stage plays and several independent films.

Parkin’s first acting job came through a mutual friend casting for gangsters in an an independent film. He liked the work and expanded his skills, taking acting classes in Bloomfield’s NJ School of Dramatic Arts. 

Besides his debut film, Parkin’s acting credits also include playing a zombie in the satirical horror film Red Scare.

His current role, he said, skews toward families and would be enjoyable for children and adults alike. The musical, based on the original comic strip, retains its source material’s mix of upbeat whimsy and pathos.

“You have a nice blind of sadness and optimism with Charlie Brown,” Parkins said. “Even though he’s depressed or upset he finds the best part about it and prevails.”

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be presented at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center at 39 Broadway, in Hackensack on Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm and 3 p.m. on Dec. 8. General Admission tickets are $15. Tickets for students and seniors are $12 and group of 10 or more are $10. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (201) 646-8042

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