‘Happy Days’ are here again
The Fonz! There can be few people who have never heard of Arthur Fonzarelli. Played by Henry Winkler, the leatherjacketed, coiffed, too cool for cool character was a top draw in the TV series Happy Days which ran from 1974 – 84. The show was also seminal in the career of movie director Ron Howard who starred in the pivotal role of wholesome teenager, Ritchie Cunningham.
Set in the decade 1955 to 1965, Happy Days was a tribute to a small town USA as reflected in the Archie comics, and redolent of 1973 movie American Graffiti. Back in the day, this nostalgia fest was appointment TV viewing.
In 2008, came the musical, and the Palmerston North Boys’ and Girls’ High production of the retro Americana show opens on the Spiers Centre stage tomorrow night.
Period plays an important part in the production. There’ll more than likely be plenty of grand-parents in the audience who will remember what the 50s were like, and will pick up on any anachronisms. The set is decked out in the colours and the flavours of a 1950s malt shop, which includes a jukebox with the rock ‘n roll hits of the era, and a motorcycle that’s just a year off the 1949 Triumph Trophy 500 Custom that Fonzie rode in the TV show.
Amidst the angst of teenage romances, the music and dance moves of the 1950s, the story hangs around Arnold’s Drivein. The iconic diner is under threat from someone wanting the site for a mall. The kids rally around with fundraising schemes to save the place.
If it’s one thing the actor playing Fonzie must have, is presence – with a capital P. He’s the guy all the guys want to be, and the guy all the girls want to be with. The snap-my-fingers-and-the-galsswoon role is being played by Baxter Perry.
In the slightly adapted words of the 1976 hit theme song by Pratt & McClain Happy Days plays ‘‘Thursday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday Tuesday Happy Days; Wednesday Friday Happy Days then Saturday, what a day, rockin’ all week with you.’’
Or in other words, on at the Speirs Centre from March 10-19. Book on Eventfinda
The whole ensemble for the Palmerston North Boys’ and Girls’ High School production, sing it out for Happy Days. The musical stage adaptation of the longrunning 70s TV series opens in the Spiers Centre this week.