This is the next step in the development of the 1950s-set show inspired by the TV sensation that aired in the 1970s and '80s. Happy Days — featuring Fonzie, Richie, Howard and Marion Cunningham and the rest of the Eisenhower-era gang from Milwaukee — will play the Norma Terris Theatre, Goodspeed's home for developing new works, Aug. 9-Sept. 2.
In the fall, Happy Days is expected to be the season opener at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, with commercial producer Bob Boyett attached to shepherd it to a wider future.
No casting has been announced. Goodspeed regular Gordon Greenberg (Pirates!) will direct; choreography is by Michele Lynch.
The musical — with songs by Paul Williams and libretto and direction by the TV comedy's creator-producer Garry Marshall — had a run in Burbank, CA, in 2006. The show has gone through revisions since its 2006 Los Angeles run at the Falcon Theatre, where pop singer Joey McIntyre played Arthur Fonzarelli, aka the Fonz.
A commercial national tour is in the works for 2008, but not produced by Goodspeed, the Tony Award-honored resident theatre known for classic and new musicals.
Visit www.goodspeed.org for more information.
At the Falcon, the show (subtitled A Family Musical!) played two engagements in 2006 (Feb. 15-March 12 and June 23-Aug. 13).
It was billed as the "high flyin', sock hoppin' musical, based on the hit Paramount Pictures' television series" that ran 1974-84.
"It's May 1959 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Fonzie is still the king of cool at everyone's favorite malt shop, Arnold's," according to the earlier Falcon announcement. "The school year is coming to an end and the rest of the gang, including Richie, Lori Beth, Potsie and Ralph Malph, are getting ready to graduate from Jefferson High School."
The "musical celebration of nostalgia" also featured appearances by Pinky Tuscadero and the Malachi Brothers.
McIntyre made his Broadway debut in Wicked in 2004 and has appeared on stage in tick, tick . . . BOOM! Off-Broadway and in the Los Angeles Reprise! mounting of Babes in Arms. The actor-singer also appears in the film versions of The Fantasticks and Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding.
The earlier cast included Joseph Leo Bwarie, Cynthia Ferrer, Christine Lakin, Philip Lightstone Matt Merchant, Jaclyn Miller, DeQuina Moore, Rory O'Malley, Robert Petrarca, Anna A. White, Fred Applegate, Ryan Matthew, Jackie Seiden, Matt Walker and Jay Brian Winnick.
Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning composer Williams has provided music for the films "Bugsy Malone," "A Star Is Born," "The Muppet Movie" and the theme to TV's "The Love Boat" Among his songs include "Evergreen," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song" and "Rainbow Connection." As an actor, he has appeared in the films "Phantom of the Paradise," the "Smokey and the Bandit" trilogy, "The Doors," as well as on Broadway in Tru.
Marshall — a producer, director and writer of film, television and theatre — has directed the films "Pretty Woman," "Frankie & Johnny," "Beaches," "Overboard," "Runaway Bride" and "The Princess Diaries" movies. He is also known for his successful television shows including "Happy Days," "Laverne & Shirley," "The Odd Couple" and "Mork & Mindy." In 1997, he founded the Falcon Theatre. He is currently a judge of emerging movie directors on the TV competition series, "On the Lot."