Fonzie and Friends Will Tour in Happy Days; Cast Album Now in Stores

News   Fonzie and Friends Will Tour in Happy Days; Cast Album Now in Stores The new national tour of Happy Days – A New Musical, with Fonzie, the Cunninghams and malt shop owner Arnold singing about life in the fifties, will launch at La Mirada Theatre in California Oct. 31-Nov. 16.

Casting and a complete tour schedule have yet to be announced, although some markets have gone public with dates for the show. Garry Marshall, who created the famous TV series on which the musical is based, penned the libretto. Music and lyrics are by Academy Award winner Paul Williams.

The family-friendly musical comedy had developmental productions at the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles, by Goodspeed Musicals (at the Norma Terris Theatre and currently at Goodspeed Opera House through July 4) and at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. Gordon Greenberg, who staged the Paper Mill and Goodspeed productions, will direct the tour.

In fall 2007 the Paper Mill cast was captured on a world-premiere recording of the score, on the PS Classics label. The disc is now in stores.

PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker told Playbill.com June 11 that the cast album had a release in January in anticipation of the spring Goodspeed run. "Since then, it's been one of our strongest sellers: a vivid reminder of the enduring appeal of the TV series and, no doubt in time, the stage show itself," Krasker said.

Since the 2007 Paper Mill run (and the recording), Happy Days has been expanded to include two additional cast members, larger dance numbers (both happened with the Paper Mill production), some book updates and two new songs (new for the Goodspeed production). Here's how the producers characterize the show: "Based on the hit Paramount Pictures' television series, Happy Days – A New Musical reintroduces one of America's best loved families, the Cunninghams and the days of 1959 Milwaukee. This time capsule is complete with familiar friends, Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph, Joanie and Chachi, Pinky Tuscadero and of course, the king of cool: Arthur 'The Fonz' Fonzarelli. Arnold's — the famed drive-in malt shop —is in danger of demolition, so the gang teams up to save it with a dance contest and TV-worthy wrestling match. Complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox sock-hoppin', Happy Days – A New Musical brings back the nostalgia of the '50s in a perfect family entertainment."

The Happy Days creative team includes music arranger and music supervisor John McDaniel, choreographer Michele Lynch, set designer Walt Spangler, costume designer David C. Woolard, lighting designer Julie Ferrin, sound designer Jay Hilton and hair and wig designer Mark Adam Rampmeyer.

Happy Days – A New Musical is produced by Robert Boyett Theatricals in association with McCoy Rigby Entertainment. Robert Boyett is one of the original producers of the TV series, "Happy Days."

Some Happy Days engagements that have been announced include:

  • Tempe, AZ, Nov. 18-23, ASU Gammage Auditorium
  • Milwaukee, Jan. 6-11, 2009, Uihlein Hall
  • Indianapolis, Jan. 13-18, 2009, Clowes Hall
  • Jacksonville, FL, Feb. 24-March 1, 2009, Moran Theatre
  • Atlanta, March 31-April 5, 2009, Fox Theatre The Happy Days cast (on the cast album) includes Joey Sorge as The Fonz, Rory O'Malley as Richie Cunningham, Felicia Finley as Pinky Tuscadero, Patrick Garner as Howard Cunnigham, Cynthia Ferrer as Marion Cunningham, Natalie Bradshaw as Joanie Cunningham, Todd Buonopane as Ralph Malph, Christopher Ruth as Potsie, Eric Schneider as Chachi and Michael J. Farina as Arnold.

    The ensemble included Scott Barnhardt (Scooter), Julia Burrows (Lori Beth), Andrea Dora (Paula), Lisa Gajda (Pinkette Sally), Stephanie Gibson (Pinkette Lola), Lauren Parsons (Louise), Tom Plotkin (Jumpy Malachi) and Andrew Varela (Count Malachi).

    (There were a couple of cast changes between Paper Mill in 2007 and the current Goodspeed run.)

    The track listing of the Happy Days cast album includes:

    1. Welcome to Wisconsin
    2. Snap
    3. The Thing About Girls
    4. Romeo Midnight
    5. Leopards Are We/The Plaque
    6. The Pink's in Town
    7. What I Dreamed Last Night
    8. Hot Love
    9. Message in the Music
    10. Maybe It's Time To Move On
    11. Run
    12. Legend in Leather
    13. "Aaay"mless
    14. Malachis
    15. What I Dreamed Last Night (Reprise)
    16. Guys Like Us
    17. Bikini Beauty
    18. Dancing on the Moon
    19. Ordinary Hero
    20. Happy Days

    *

    Marshall has created, written and produced some of television's most beloved situation comedies, including "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "Mork & Mindy" and "The Odd Couple." He has directed 16 movies, including "Pretty Woman," "Beaches," "Overboard," "The Princess Diaries 1 & 2" and "Runaway Bride." In 1997, he built the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, CA, with his daughter Kathleen.

    Oscar-winning composer Williams is known for the pop hits "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays," "I Won't Last a Day Without You" and more.

    The PS Classics label, founded by Tommy Krasker and Philip Chaffin, is devoted to theatre music and the heritage of the American popular song. Its recent cast albums includes Sunday in the Park With George, Adding Machine, Xanadu and A Catered Affair.

    For more information visit psclassics.com.

  • Cover art for "Happy Days" CD.
    Cover art for "Happy Days" CD.