Dynamic Duo: Charlie Brown & Snoopy, Joshua Colley & Aidan Gemme, Talk Laughs, Mishaps, & Cynthia Erivo Love
June 2nd, 2016
by Joshua Colley & Aidan Gemme
The musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is getting a whole new life off-Broadway thanks to the clever concept of having actual (insanely talented) Broadway kids play the beloved Peanuts gang in this York Theatre Company revival.
Photo by Carol Rosegg
Leading the company as Charlie Brown is Joshua Colley, who Broadway audiences know as Gavroche in Les Miz and Les in Newsies, and who had a big breakout moment this past winter as Young Calogero in Paper Mill’s musical adaptation of A Bronx Tale. His co-star Aidan Gemme (who stops the show as Charlie’s loyal companion Snoopy) starred on B’way as Peter in Finding Neverland, the boy in Waiting for Godot, and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins. Together, these two are the future of Broadway, and Bbox caught up with them to learn more about their dynamic onstage and off.
My first impression of my co-star was:
My first impression of Aidan was that he is a very talented kid and really nice guy. I knew we would be great friends.
My first real impression of Josh was when we were sitting down to start learning music for the 54 Below concert last September. I had heard all of these greats things about him but remember having no idea what was happening when this kid next to me was belting out high notes with ease. I was like, “wait what?”. He was this person who I had never known and all of a sudden he was blowing me out of the water with his ability to sing anything. He’s such a friendly and charismatic person and was just so nice, it was like we had been best friends forever.
My favorite moment we share onstage:
My favorite moment that we share on stage would have to be the point when I throw the cookie in the air and Aidan catches it in his mouth. We both hope that he catches it.
Hmmm, we have so many greats moments onstage together. It’s hard to single one out. Something funny in the opening number happened when my hand accidently fell near Josh’s foot while he was “sleeping”. He seized the opportunity to step on my hand and toss it around so I came back and grabbed it. It seemed like something Snoopy would do to Charlie Brown, grab his foot then not let him go. We have so many moments that are enjoyable to share and play around with every show that pretty much every moment is my favorite with Josh. They do say men are a dog’s best friend.
The thing he does that makes me laugh:
Aidan is a very funny person and constantly makes me laugh. We are always doing the old ‘there is something on your shirt’ gag. He catches me with that one all the time.
Everything. Seriously, he is SUCH a funny person. He does these hilarious voices and imitations, Gregory and I are always backstage trying to hold in our laughter because he’s a naturally comedic person. Once during a dress rehearsal, the mailbox didn’t come on stage so Josh, without missing a beat said, “If I look and there’s no mailbox, I’ll be crushed”, instead of the real line, “If I look and there’s nothing there, I’ll be crushed”. It was hilarious, everyone in the theater was laughing super hard.
Cartoon character he reminds me of:
Now that I have seen him do Snoopy it is hard for me to see him as any other cartoon character. Aidan is fun, loyal and a great best friend just like Snoopy.
I would say a cross between Calvin and Hobbes put together but much smarter. I don’t know many cartoon characters and I’m sure there is one a lot like Josh, but from the ones I do know he has the humor and humanness of Calvin and Hobbes.
Offstage, we bond over:
We are big fans of Cynthia Erivo from The Color Purple and have been singing the songs together all the time.
Tons of things. During dinner breaks we have been watching the Harry Potter movies but I would say the main thing are our “car” talks. A lot of the time we drive Josh and his dad home, and the whole time the two of us are cracking each other up and just talking about the weirdest and most random things, such as what a good packer of snacks my mom is. Also listening to Cynthia Erivo SLAYING “I’m Here” from The Color Purple, we listen to it everyday.
Musical that would be awesome to reunite on when we’re older:
t would awesome reunite in Godspell and I could play Jesus and Aidan could play Judas.
Any show that has two lead male parts. He can blow everyone away with his voice and I’ll be his wacky sidekick. One possibility is The Producers.
I’m in awe of my co-star’s ability to:
I am in awe of his great personality. He is always in a good mood and never seems to let anything get him upset.
Sing. I am in awe of practically everything he does but mainly his unbelievable voice.
If I had to describe my co-star in a song, it would be:
I think the best song that would describe Aidan would be “Happy” by Pharrell Williams because he is always happy and in a good mood.
It’s hard to put such a well-rounded and great human being such as Joshua Colley into one song. He has bits and pieces of “Singin’ in the Rain”, which sounds like something Josh would do.
See these two slay in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, running at The York Theatre Company through June 26.