Happy days are here again – or they will be very soon when Wellington Operatic Society’s production of the musical ‘Happy Days’ takes over the stage at the Wellesley Theatre in May.
Based on the sitcom which became one of the biggest hits in US TV history between 1974 and 1984, the stage version focuses on the major characters who featured in the hugely popular series and adds some big musical and dance numbers.
Famous for the legendary figure of Arthur Fonzarelli, ‘The Fonz’, the story tells of the efforts of Richie Cunningham and his High School graduate friends to save Arnold’s Diner where the kids hang out from demolition. They plan to stage a dance contest and a wrestling match and, when Fonzi’s childhood sweetheart, Pinky Tuscadero, returns to help, their romance is rekindled.
‘Happy Days’ was compared to ‘Grease’ when it premiered in the UK in 2014 so audiences can expect big sounds, big dance numbers, a strong if idealised sense of life in a mid-western town in the 50s, an engaging narrative which includes all the key features of the best musicals and a wonderful night out. Oscar-winner Paul Williams wrote the music for the show which was written by Gary Marshall.
Under the direction of Colin Marshall with Richard Lennox as Musical Director and choreography by Cheryl Keith-Hill, rehearsals are in full swing. The cast features some of Op Soc’s fine regulars, a few newcomers and one or two performers who are returning to the company after time away. Even with scripts still to hand, the sound is stirring and the action fast-moving – especially for the girls on roller skates.
Tickets are on sale online or through the Box Office at Odette’s Tearoom on Wellington High Street. Performances are at the Wellesley Theatre, Mantle Street, Wellington from Wednesday 9 May to Saturday 12 May at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm. Ticket price is £12.00 with concessions available for the matinee at £9.00.