Thumbs Up, the Fonz Will Sing in Goodspeed Musicals' Happy Days Aug. 9-Sept. 2

News   Thumbs Up, the Fonz Will Sing in Goodspeed Musicals' Happy Days Aug. 9-Sept. 2
The next step in the development of the musical Happy Days, based on the TV sitcom set in the 1950s, will be a summer run at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut.

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. At Goodspeed's developmental space in Chester, CT, the director will be Goodspeed regular Gordon Greenberg (Pirates!), with choreography by Michele Lynch.

Happy Days — featuring Fonzie, Richie, Howard and Marion Cunningham and the rest of the Eisenhower-era gang from Milwaukee — will play the Norma Terris Aug. 9-Sept. 2.

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.

No casting has been announced for the Goodspeed run.

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. General public tickets will go on sale June 4.

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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.

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