reviewed by Paula Citron
Happy Days: A New Musical
Book by Garry Marshall and music and lyrics by Paul Williams
Directed by Gordon Greenberg
Starring Joey Sorge, Felicia Finley, Steven Booth, Cynthia Ferrer, John Massey, Whitney Bashor, Matt Walker and Matt Merchant
At the Elgin Theatre until Feb. 15.
Happy Days: A New Musical is a pleasant evening of nostalgia. The show, written by Garry Marshall, the creator of the original TV series, with a score by Paul Williams, is currently touring the provinces, and of course, Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, played by Joey Sorge, is the star.
The original series debut on ABC in 1974 and ran for 11 seasons. It was set in 1959 and reflected innocent, post-war optimism while carefully avoiding any serious issues of the day. All the beloved characters associated with the Cunningham family of Milwaukee are introduced in rapid succession. They sing through a slew of upbeat tunes while they try to save the malt shop Arnold’s from being demolished to become a mall.
Clearly, many in the audience had been fans of the show and laughed at the inside jokes, while others were there just to have a good time.
Happy Days: A New Musical continues at the Elgin Theatre until Feb. 15.