Sorge, Finley, Booth and More Will Star in Happy Days Tour

News   Sorge, Finley, Booth and More Will Star in Happy Days Tour The troupers of the new national tour of Happy Days – A New Musical have been announced. The Milwaukee-set family-friendly musical comedy will launch Oct. 31 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in California.
Joey Sorge as Fonzie.
Joey Sorge as Fonzie. Photo by Diane Sobolewski

The production will again star Joey Sorge in the role of biker Fonzie in the 1950s-set show based on the hit TV sitcom that first appeared in the 1970s.

Wearing a leather jacket — and his hair slick with grease — Sorge, of Broadway's recent Follies and The Drowsy Chaperone, appeared in earlier productions of the Happy Days at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey (fall 2007) and Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut (spring 2008).

Book writer Garry Marshall, composer-lyricist Paul Williams and director Gordon Greenberg have continued to shape and rewrite Happy Days following those developmental engagements.

PS Classics released a world-premiere recording of the score using members of the 2007 Paper Mill company. Additional songs have since gone into the show.

Happy Days on tour is produced by Bob Boyett, Nice Productions, Inc., McCoy Rigby Entertainment, CBS Corporation, Tom Miller and La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Performances will play through Nov. 16 at La Mirada.

The cast of Happy Days – A New Musical also includes Cynthia Ferrer as Mrs. Cunningham, John Massey as Mr. Cunningham, Steven Booth (Glory Days on Broadway) as Richie Cunningham, Chris Fore as Potsie, Felica Finley (The Wedding Singer on Broadway) as Pinky, Barry Pearl as Arnold, Eddy Rioseco as Chachi, Whitney Bashor as Joanie, Molly Alverez as Lori Beth, plus Justin Duval, Gabrielle Hatchett, Matt Merchant, Jaclyn Miller, Jill Morrison, Leah Sprecher Jeff Summer and Matt Walker.

Music arrangement and music supervision are by John McDaniel. Choreography is by Michele Lynch.

Here's how the producers characterize the show: "Goodbye gray skies, hello blue. Happy Days – A New Musical launches its national tour at La Mirada Theatre in October 2008. Based on the hit Paramount Pictures' television series, Happy Days 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."

In the show, 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."

Librettist Marshall created, wrote and produced television's "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley," "Mork & Mindy" and "The Odd Couple."

Academy Award-winning composer Williams penned famed songs recorded by The Carpenters ("We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays" among others) and Barbra Streisand ("Evergreen"), plus "The Theme to the Love Boat," "The Rainbow Connection" and more.

The creative team includes set designer Walt Spangler, lighting designer Jeff Croiter, costume designer David C. Woolard, sound designer Julie Ferrin and hair and wig designer Judi Lewin.

La Mirada performances will be 7:30 PM on Tuesday through Thursdays; 8 PM on Fridays; 2 PM and 8 PM on Saturdays; and 2 PM and 7 PM on Sundays. There will be no performances on Nov. 1 at 2 PM and Nov. 2 at 7 PM. Tickets are $40 and $48 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre's website, www.lamiradatheatre.com.

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