Usually when people hear about “Happy Days” they think about the television series starring Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham and the legendary Fonz played by Henry Winkler.
What do you think of when you hear “Happy Days, the Musical”? It’s still Richie Cunningham and of course, “AYYYYY!”, the Fonz. This time though the old group is still complete with Ralph, Potsie, Chachi, Joanie, and Pinky. Arnold’s, the old malt shop, is being threatened by urban development and a mall and Denny’s are considering replacing it. The group is planning to have a fund raiser to save Arnold’s.
The musical has great harmonies and steps as you get reacquainted with the characters. Matt Hemingway was outstanding as Richie Cunningham. His unique falsetto, almost a counter tenor, rang out above the quartet while still having a voice with the strength and personality for a lead role. Stephen Michael Shelton definitely became “The Fonz” while singing and dancing with definitely a “cool” attitude. Ralph and Potsie resembled the original actors and both Chris Ebke and John Jones were wonderful with their supporting roles. Added to this was a phenomenal “Chachi” who could masterfully sing and dance, even break-dance, while also maintaining his attitude.
This young cast with Denise Putman, Tim Daugherty, and Steve Ebke in the adult roles, were energetic and upbeat throughout the show. The support crew lead by the director Todd Brooks with the musicians were well-balanced with an outstanding job from the sound crew. The costuming, sets, and props were all perfect for the show. Notable also in the group was Eric Cavanaugh who is an outstanding dancer and singer along with Sadie Devine, the youngest cast member, who just recently filled-in for a part and quickly learned her songs and dances.
This is one of those performances where everyone has fun and thoroughly enjoys the show. I predict that this show will be outstanding for the season’s final performances. “Happy Days, the Musical” will continue through May 27th with the Friday and Saturday shows being at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Ticket costs are $17 for adults; $14 for seniors, and $9 for children and students. For reservations, contact the box office at 712-323-9955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Go see a great show for a great price.