Aaaayyyy. Fonzie could say it, but could he make it sing?
Original "Happy Days" creator Garry Marshall hopes so. He is writing and directing a musical version of the classic TV show, being read in Los Angeles Oct. 21-23 at the Falcon Theatre.
The musical, which feature classic songs and, of course, the sitcom's self-titled theme, will return to the lives of the Cunningham family and their son Richie's friends, Ralph Malph, Potsie and Lori Beth. In addition to these familiar faces, Marshall created a new character, Fonzie's Dad, described as a an attractive, 40-something merchant marine.
"Happy Days" ran for ten years from 1974 to 1984 and helped launch the careers of Ron Howard and Henry Winkler. Marshall's television series include the hits "Mork and Mindy," "The Odd Couple" (developed from the Neil Simon play) and "Laverne and Shirley," which starred his sister, Penny. As a film director, he helmed "Pretty Woman," "Beaches" and "Runaway Bride."
Scott Grossman is the choreographer. Musical direction is by Michael Roth. Ronny Hallin joins the Marshalls in producing. The reading is being held for backers and future producers and is open to invitees only.
Interesting to note, this is not the first production of a Happy Days musical, although the first in the United States. An English and Australian production marked the show's 25th anniversary back in 1999. Both used classic rock and roll songs including "Blueberry Hill," "Great Balls of Fire," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Splish Splash."
— By Christine Ehren