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Happy After All These Years

musical version of Happy Days comes to the State

Emily Anderson

For all of you who loved watching the original Happy Days TV show, the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre (ECCT) is putting on a musical with the same name based on this beloved sitcom. Happy Days is set in 1959 Milwaukee just as many of the characters are about to graduate high school and move on to college. When the gang discovers that Arnold’s, the local malt shop, is in danger of closing and being turned into a mall, they devise a plan to save their favorite hangout. In order to raise money, the guys plan a wrestling match between Fonzie, played by Jared Martin, and his nemeses, the Malachi brothers, while Fonzie’s old flame Pinky Tuscadero (Rachel Gullickson) comes into town to host a dance contest. This family-friendly musical features all the same characters that we’ve grown to love including Richie, Marion, Howard, and Joanie Cunningham (played by Andy Steffen, Vanessa Rossano, Mike Cook, and Taylor Peterson, respectively), Ralph Malph (Kelan Smith), Chachi (John DiSalle), Potsie (Michael Hasenmueller), and of course, “The Fonz.” Directed by Wayne Marek, executive director at ECCT, this fun-filled musical is sure to be entertaining for the whole family. The large-scale musical numbers, high energy, and fun ’50s set décor will get younger generations excited about this production even if they’ve never seen the TV show.

Happy Days: A New Musical • Jul. 24-28 • State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St. • 7:30pm Wed.-Sat., 1:30pm Sat.-Sun. • $8-$20 • 832-ARTS • ECCT.org