Happy Days

Happy Days
Book by Garry Marshall. Music and Lyrics by Paul Williams. Murray Music and Drama Club. Directed by Tammy Peckover. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. Nov 12-27, 2021.

The Murray Music and Drama Club’s production of Happy Days is a nostalgia filled trip back in time. Based on the TV series of the same name, and written by the series’ creator, the show is good, clean, fun.

Central character Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli is convincingly played by Rp van der Westhuizen, in a well sung, highly charismatic performance that anchors the show well.

The Cunningham Family are all there, in all their early 1960s glory. Lori Anders is a gorgeous Marion Cunningham, housewife supreme and almost unrecognisable in a red wig. Peter Bonner is likeable as her husband Howard. Bryan Bonner captures both Joanie’s sweetness and independence. Alex Petrucci is strong as Richie Cunningham.

Richie’s singing group The Dial Tones, is a lovely aspect of this show. Alex Petrucci joins with Thomas Petrucci (Potsie Webber) Meyer van der Westhuizen (Ralph Malph) and Conner Jamieson (Chachi Webber) to create an effective Deltones style singing group.

Some of the most memorable guest characters from the TV series make appearances in the stage show. Cooper Gray (in a strong stage debut) and Joel Gal team-up to play the larger-than-life villains-of-sorts the Malachi Brothers, Alexis Good is a fiery love interest with plenty of sass as Pinky Tuscadero, with Trevor Delaporte (Arnold), Greg Hatton and Jarrad Thomas nicely completing the core cast

An ensemble of over twenty performers provide colour and support, playing waitresses, members of the Leopard Lodge and a myriad of smaller roles. 

Working to a backing track, under the vocal direction of Jacky Creelman, the music has the audience bopping along. Elysia Miller has provided of-the-era choreography, executed with energy and enthusiasm.

Happy Days is a show that evokes lots of happy memories and leaves its audience smiling.

Kimberley Shaw

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