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Happy Days at Shedley Theatre - Review

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by Stacey Canavan (subscribe)
I'm a 29 year old female Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Journalism at The University of South Australia in 2013 & completed my Diploma in Photography
Event: -
13/03/15 - 28/03/15
The Northern Light Theatre Company presents Happy Days: The Musical. Written by Garry Marshall and directed by George Humphies and Gary Humphies, the show premiered at The Shedley Theatre on March 13th running until March 28th.

Musically directed by Danielle Pedler and choreographed by Kylie Pedler and Tammy Pedler, it's the well known story based on the television show Happy Days. The musical has all the recognisable characters, locations and famous catch phrases from the show including the set based on the Arnold's famous milk bar. The story begins when Arnold realises he cant afford to outbid contractors who want to tear down Arnolds Milk Bar.

All your favourite stars get together and work out a plan to save Arnold's from demolition. They decide to host a dance contest live on television followed by a wrestling match between the wrestling Malachi Brothers (Daniel Watkins and Daniel Abbott) and biker Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli (Gus Smith).

The production stars Angus Smith (The Fonz), Bianca Levai (Pinkie), Delanie Whibley (Joanie), Cheryl Ford (Marion), Russell Ford (Howard), Nathan Quadrio (Richie), Daniel Vickers (Chachi), Steven Lewis (Ralph), Michael Pomery (Potsie) and more

In preparation for the dance competition Pinky Tuscadero (Fonzie's former flame) will be coming into town as the host. She is welcomed into Arnolds by The Dial Tones who she cuts off to perform 'The Pink's in Town' with her Pinkettes (Amanda Sharp and Julie Pollitt). Fonzie wouldn't admit it but he's still lot more interested in Pinkie than he realises.

When Fonzie's younger cousin Chachi asks for advice on how to win over Joanie Fonzie sings "You've just got to learn to listen with your heart". Little does Chachi know but at that same moment she's home singing about him 'What I Dreamed Last Night' and how she wishes he would ask her to be his date to the dance competition.

When we arrive at Arnold's for the dance Pinky is giving Joanie boy advice then ends up with Pinky and Fonzie in a slow dance. This is followed by Fonzie saying he will wrestle the Malachi Brothers. Richie knows this is a bad idea because Fonzie has a knee injury and hates to admit weakness, so Richie threatens him saying 'I will tell everyone about your weakness'. Fonzie leaves town realising he will either be seriously injured or highly embarrassed.

Will Fonzie return and save the day or will Richie and Ralph have to be todays heroes? Is there any hope left for the destined to be together couple of Fonzie and Pinkie or is it just too late? Will Joanie finally tell Chachi she feels the same way? And will Richie and Lori Beth get engaged for college? All these questions are answered In Happy Days: The Musical by Northern Light Theatre Company

The performers in this show made me feel like I was back in the 1960's wearing rock and roll skirts and tie up t-shirts. The dance competition had moves only seen as rock and roll with flips, turns, leaps and spins that made the audience cheer. This show features all your favourite songs 'Happy Days', 'The Thing about Girls', 'Malchis', 'Heatbeat', 'What I Dreamed Last Night', 'Guys like Us', 'Dancing on the Moon' and more.

I loved Gus Smith as The Fonz he played this part well down to the look, the walk, the talk. He was remarkable to watch. I could feel the bond between him and Pinkie. This is always great when a stage couple are believable. Bianca Levai has an incredible voice. I heard audience members saying how fantastic she was in her solo piece 'Legend in Leather'. The way she hit those high notes and her confidence, that applause at the end wasn't nearly loud enough. I loved Chachi and Joanie, they were a very cute on stage couple and represented teen love very well.

An 80 year old audience member mentioned her favourite was Ralph played by Steven Lewis. She felt he had the best character representation and couldn't help but laugh at most things he did as she remembered the Happy Days television character of Ralph Malph.

Overall this is a fantastic production by Northern Light. A special mention to the directors, George and Gary Humphries, musical director, Danielle Pedler, and choreographers Kylie Pedler and Tammy Pedler. This production was unfaultable, fun and highly enjoyable to watch.

Shedley Theatre, Playford Civic Centre, Elizabeth.
13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 March at 8pm
Matinees 21, 28 March at 2pm

Tickets are $25 - $30 and are available at: Northern Light Theatre Company.
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Why? Happy Days Musical
When: March 13th - 28th
Where: Shedley Theatre
Cost: $25 - $30
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