Reviewed by Hannah Strickland
Special to the Times-News
”Sunday, Monday, Happy Days! Tuesday, Wednesday … ”
These words began one of television’s most iconic theme songs. If you loved the TV show “Happy Days,” then you will enjoy this fun, upbeat musical directed and adapted for the stage by Ashley Phipps and performed by a great cast from the Plaid Players Acting Company.
This show is based on the hit television series that lasted from 1974 to 1984. The production includes many of the characters that we all know and love. They’ve got the whole gang, from Richie and the rest of the Cunningham family to everyone’s favorite leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding, high school dropout — the Fonz.
When the kids hear about their favorite restaurant, Arnold’s, closing down, they come together to save their beloved hangout. When the question of how to raise the money is asked, it is suggested that they present a benefit concert.
This idea is quickly accepted and the group goes on to plan this event. Richie (played by Rick Gilbert) somehow becomes the leader of this project by default. After the entertainment is booked, the rehearsals begin; however, nothing is going as planned because Richie is struggling with his family crisis, his failing love life and the Arnold’s benefit. Will they be able to save Arnold’s?
Besides Rick Gilbert as Richie, the cast includes Walter Boyd as Mr. Cunningham, Tracy Carey as Mrs. Cunningham, Ainsley Darnell as Joanie, Jacen Lazar as Chuck, Mackenzie Phillips as Lori Beth, Adam Barnhardt as Fonzie, Becca June as Leather Tuscadero, Joan Hedrick as Pinky Tuscadero, Shane Coleman as Potsie and Tanner Gilbert as Ralph.
The music is very enjoyable and recognizable for all audiences. Songs like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Stupid Cupid” and the classic, “Rock Around the Clock,” will make you have to resist the urge to stand up and Cha Cha, Hand Jive, or bop along to the songs in this hot musical. This show is an all-American musical with hilarious one-liners, awesome dance numbers and incredible singing.
“Happy Days” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, 320 East Davis St., Burlington. Tickets are $5 and proceeds will benefit Plaid Players’ scholarship fund for young adult performers and visual artists. There also will be a dinner show Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Graham Soda Shop, 22 Northeast Court Square, Graham, but this show is sold out. For more details on the show, visit www.plaidplayers.com.
Hannah Strickland is an eighth-grader at Burlington Christian Academy.