Happy Days is a Blast from the Past at the Roxy Regional Theatre
Clarksville, TN – Goodbye gray skies, hello blue! Happy days comes to life on the stage of the complete with Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and all of the gang. The Roxy Regional Theatre has has excelled in their ability to bring Broadway to life on the small stage, with Happy Days they have succeeded in bringing life to the big screen.
Happy Days is what it always has been, it not rocket science, and if you go into this musical with that in mind you will have a great time paying a visit to a time life was much simpler. The new Happy Days musical introduces a new generation to one of America’s best-loved families, the Cunningham’s, taking audiences back to the days of 1959 Milwaukee, complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox sock-hoppin’.
Indeed at the end of the tumultuous Vietnam War era, America was looking back toward kinder and gentler times. Recognizing this the legendary director Garry Marshall came up with the concept of a sitcom that follows an all-American family in a small Wisconsin town in the 1950′s. He did something right, as Happy days was must-see TV in America for well over 10 years.
On the Roxy Stage Happy Days features Regan Featherstone as “The Fonz,” Rob Rodems as Richie Cunningham and Kaitlin Doughty as the smokingly hot Pinky Tuscadero. They are backed up by Ryan Bowie (Potsie), Josh Bernaski (Ralph Malph), Ben Prayz (Howard Cunningham), Jama Bowen (Marion Cunningham), Hannah Church (Joanie Cunningham), Travis Kendrick (Chachi), Darren Michael (Arnold), Humberto Figueroa, Erin Keas, Ashley Laverty, Sean Ormond, Kourtni Cottrell, Taiylor James, Truman Jepson, Samantha Grimes and Madeline O’Connor.
The roles couldn’t have been cast any better as every actor and actress was perfect.
Rob Rodems was the iconic Richie Cunningham, I had no problem seeing a young Ron Howard as he portrayed Richie Cunningham in the TV Series. Regan Featherstone does the Fonz with the a great balance of style and charm and yes he even brings some of the Fonz’s signature cool to the role. Pinky Tuscadero played by Kaitlyn Doughty stole the show. Not only was she smoking hot in her short-shorts, but she was the perfect counterpoint to Regan Featherstone, she had absolutely no problems ruffling the Fonz’s cool.
Howard and Marion Cunningham were played by Ben Prayz and Jama Bowen who gave the outward appearances of being that happy 1950′s couple but Marion stepped far beyond the ordinary housewife in her signature number what I dreamed last night which was one of the standout numbers of the show. Ben was a likable Howard, but was somewhat limited by the confines of the his character. I hope I get the chance to see more of his obvious talent in future shows.
Joanie and Chachi were played by Hannah Church and Travis Kendrick both of whom are exceptional actors. Joanie was the typical younger sister, but I think she ran off with some of the funniest spots in the show. Humberto Figueroa and Sean Ormond were well matched in the show. They were able to play off of, and amplified each others talents as the Malachi Brothers.
The musical is directed and staged by Tom Thayer, with choreography by Emily Ford, and features Thayer on piano, John Waddle on guitar, Bruce Ervin on saxophone, Jarrod Jackson on bass and Thad Wallus on drums. It is based on the Paramount Pictures Television Series “Happy Days” created by Garry Marshall with Music & Lyrics by Paul Williams and Arrangements and Orchestrations by John McDaniel.
“Happy Days” runs July 12th through August 18th, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, with a 2:00pm matinee on Saturday, July 21st. There is no performance on Saturday, July 14th. Tickets are $20.00 (adults) and $15.00 (ages 13 and under) and may be purchased online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at 931.645.7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday).
On Saturday, July 21st, at 6:00pm, celebrate summer with a hamburger and hotdog cookout “down under” at F&M Bank, followed by an 8:00pm performance of “Happy Days” at the Roxy. Tickets for this show will be $40.00 (adults) and $20.00 (ages 13 and under), and all proceeds support the construction of a new center for arts and education.
“These days are ours, share them with me. Oh Baby! These Happy Days are yours and mine. These Happy Days are yours and mine, Happy Days.”
Synopsis from the Goodspeed Opera House
[320right]Richie Cunningham comes into view and introduces us to his hometown (Welcome to Milwaukee) and to the one spot in town that everyone goes to find out what’s happening…Arnold Malt Shop. During the opening number. We meet Richie’s friends Potsie, Ralph, Chachi; Richie’s mom and dad Howard and Marion; his little sister Joanie; and the town’s most remarkable character Arthur Fonzarelli: The Fonze.
But all is not perfect in Arnold’s, because the land on which it sits, is to be sold to large construction company that plans on tearing it down and putting up something called a “mall”. If Arnold cannot come up with enough money to make a counter offer, he will have to go to into the restaurant business with a guy named Denny. Never one to shrink from impossible challenges, Fonzie declares that he will come up with a plan to raise the money and save Arnold’s, because after all, “I’m the guy the kids can turn to, I’m Milwaukee’s answer man.” (The Snap)
As serious as Arnold’s issues are these the match by the girl-friend (or lack thereof) proble’ms that Richie and his friends have. (The Thing about Girls) . No whining, no “regular guys singing,” Fonzie tells them. You gotta have a rockin’ rhythm to give girls shivers and get them where you want ‘em. (Oooooh Bop!) And that’s the right attitude, because tonight there will be a dance contest at Arnold’s. All money raised is to go to the Save Arnold’s Fund. Which was Fonzie’s idea, but he’s the last to know that his ex-main squeeze Pinkie Tuscadero is coming back in town to be a celebrity judge.
Other citizens are also doing their part to raise money. Howard Cunningham and his fellow Leopard Lodge members figure the best way to guarantee lots of people coming to an event that will raise lots to cash is to have the notorious Malachi Brothers-the world’s biggest and meanest wrestling stars-to wrestle Fonzie at the annual Lodge picnic. This will guarantee TV coverage. Howard is selected to ask Fonzie to take up the challenge. Howard wants badly to succeed with the mission, because if he does so, he’ll get his name on “A Plaque,” a tremendous Lodge honor.
Pinky rides into town on her pink Harley (The Pink’s in Town) and brings her own star power to the events. After nearly 2 years apart, she and Fonzie share a wary and awkward meeting. Later, at his garage Fonzie reminisces with Chachi (his cousin) about where he and Pinky met, but steadfastly maintains that the relationship is over. He then gives Chachi a lesson in love (Heartbeat) , and chases him off when Mr. Cunningham enters. Howard asked Fonzie to help out the cause by wrestling the Malachi’s, but Fonzie, uncharacteristically, only gives a qualified “maybe.”
The night of the dance contest arrives and everyone at the Cunningham household is busily preparing for it. Howard distracted by the “half answer” that Fonzie gave him about wrestling the Malachi’s and content in knowing that he has his business and his wife has the home, dismisses Marion’s suggestion that she help out down at the hardware store. And in what I dreamed last night she and Joanie reveal how much they really want out of life.
The dance contest not only raises a bit of money, it also rekindles Fonzie and Pinky’s recently absent, but continuously smoldering relationship. When she tells him that she would gladly watch him wrestle the Malachi’s, he gets off the fence and declares that he is ready to take on the meanest wrestlers in the business. Richie, who knows that the Fonzie has a bad knee that could be permanently damaged. If the hurts it in the match, threatens to tell everyone about it. This Fonzie cannot permit, for it would mean that he was “weak,” something he could never admit. When Richie consists, even to the point of destroying the friendship, Fonzie decides this time he moves on and out of town. (Maybe It’s Time to Move on)
Act II begins with the realization that without the Fonz to wrestle, the Lodge picnic whenever we put on TV in Arnold’s is doomed. Unless… “I’ve decided, to wrestle the Malachi’s,” says Richie, “and my tagteam partner will be Ralph.” No time to wait for the Fonzie to save the day, the Ralph is not so sure that is a better off being a coward. (Run)
There is concern that no one can find Fonzie, nor has anyone heard from them. Pinky worries that it was something that she might have said to him, but she also realizes that Fonzie “belongs to no one. Not me. Not anybody. He blows like the wind.” But this doesn’t mean that she can forget him. (Legend in Leather)
Meanwhile, finds he is stranded on the side of the road with his motorcycle, Dolores. Is it time for him to admit that he’s Wrrrro…? He just can’t say “wrong,” but he’s beginning to worry that a lot has just simply pass them by. (Aaay’mless) And whether he likes it or not, he misses Pinky, “because Pinky and I are…” Dolores concurs with an emphatic revving noise. “You are such a girl, ” he says. Miles apart, Pinky and Fonz finish their musical number together.
Jumpy and Count Malachi show up at Arnold’s and, though disappointed that Fonz will not be in the ring with them… “Clearly he took the coward’s way out…” They’ll go through with the match. It’s not often they get to do the famous “Malachi Mariachi Crunch” on opponents as hapless as Richie and Ralph.
While Jumpy and Count Malachi are terrorizing their opponents and giving them “wedgies,” Pinky pays a visit to the Cunningham house. Marianne and Joanie can’t believe that Pinky doesn’t find life in Milwaukee, hum-drum compared to a life on the road and her motorcycle act, but in a reprise of what I dreamed last night, Pinky says, “My dreams are simple, they’d never guess, I dream about wet hands, an apron and a gingham dress.” Marianne is a “rock,” a person she has always admired.
That afternoon, Marion discovers Fonzie in his room above the garage, she encourages them to talk about his troubles, not avoid them. After all, two of the scenarios, James Dean and Elvis, would talk to someone. Rather than worrying themselves sick, but finds he can only reply, “I can’t run around asking people’s opinions. They think I’m not cool.” She counters, “I’m told the Elvis and James wouldn’t care what other people plot,” and leaves. As soon as she’s gone Fonzie heroes appear to him, and convinces him that he has to, “Hang on to that fire in your belly. Growing up, you’ll never grow old, but a rebel can change directions if he finds a worthy cause.” (guys like us)
[320left]The day of the picnic arrives, the wrestling ring is set up, and Richie and Ralph prepare to be bashed by the Malachi’s. In true hero fashion, however, Fonzie shows up, and with Richie’s help, defeats the brothers. He promises Pinky that he would like to start over (Dancing on the Moon), but first, Richie announces that his unappreciated journalistic probing has uncovered a way to save Arnold’s. With only five “Yea”votes, the town Council can declare the building a historic landmark, and, it so happens, Harold and the Leopard leadership are all on the council. Vote taken… Arnold’s is saved!
Fonzie refuses the plaque offered him to honor his actions and says the belongs to Mr. Cunningham, “a man who takes care of everyday business every day. And this guy is as cool as I could ever hope to be.” (Ordinary Hero)
At the prom before graduation, Richie you at things up by getting engaged in noting that they will all probably never be together again quite like this. But when they look back, they’ll realize that these high school years which really Happy Days!
Photo Gallery[Gallery not found]
|Richie Cunningham||Rob Rodems|
|Arnold Delvecchio||Darren Michael|
|Warren “Potsie” Webber||Ryan Bowie|
|Ralph Malph||Josh Bernaski|
|Charles “Chachi” Arcola||Travis Kendrick|
|Joanie Cunningham||Hannah Church|
|Howard Cunningham||Ben Prayz|
|Marion Cunningham||Jama Bowen|
|Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli||Regan Featherstone|
|Car Hops||Ashley Laverty, Hannah Church, Kaitlin Doughty|
|Lori Beth Allen||Erin Keas|
|Leopard Mac Gates||Sean Ormond|
|Leopard Manny Moon||Humberto Figueroa|
|Pinky Tuscadero||Kaitlin Doughty|
|Pinkette Lola||Ashley Laverty|
|Pinkette Tina||Erin Keas|
|Jumpy Malachi||Sean Ormond|
|Myron “count” Malachi||Humberto Figueroa|
|Calendar Girls||Hannah Church, Erin Keas, Ashley Laverty|
|Nerd Girl||Samantha Grimes|
|James Dean||Sean Ormond|
|Ensemble||Kourtni Cottrell, Samantha Grimes, Taiylor James, Truman Jepson, Madeline O’Connor|
|“Happy Days Opening”||Company|
|“Snap!”||Fonzie, Car Hops|
|“The Thing About Girls”||Potsie, Ralph, Chachi, Richie|
|“Romeo Midnight”||Ralph, Richie, Chachi, Potsie|
|“Oooh Bop!”||Fonzie, Dialtones|
|“Leopards Are We”||Howard, Arnold, Manny, Mac|
|“The Plaque”||Arnold, Manny, Mac, Howard|
|“The Pink’s In Town”||Pinky, Pinkettes, Ensemble|
|“Heartbeat”||Pinky, Calendar Girls, Fonzie, Chachi|
|“The Plaque (reprise)”||Howard|
|“What I Dreamed Last Night (part 1)”||Marion, Joanie|
|“Message In The Music”||Pinky, Ensemble|
|“Maybe It’s Time To Move On”||Fonzie, Dialtones|
|“Run”||Richie, Potsie, Chachi, Ralph|
|“Legend In Leather”||Pinky, Pinkettes|
|“Aaaay’mless”||Fonzie, Pinky, Car Hops|
|“Malachi (reprise)”||Jumpy, Count|
|“What I Dreamed Last Night (Reprise)”||Pinky, Joanie, Marion|
|“Guys Like Us”||Elvis, James Dean, Fonzie|
|“Hot Love”||Richie, Potsie, Chachi, Ralph|
|“Dancing On The Moon”||Fonzie, Pinky|
|“Ordinary Hero (let’s Give It To Howard)”||Company|
|“Happy Days Finale”||Company|
|This Production Is Presented With A 10-Minute Intermission.|
About the Company
Rob Rodems is incredibly stoked to be here at the Roxy with such wonderful people. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Rob is a recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory and currently lives in NYC where he is a company member of the Flea Theatre. He was last seen on the Roxy stage as Archie in Captain Louie, following performances as Sammy in The Wedding Singer, Otto/Ulbrecht in Spring Awakening and George in SchoolHouse Rock Live! Other recent appearances include Austin in Austin’s Bridge at Brooklyn College, Andre in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Corny Collins in Hairspray at Santa Rosa Repertory Theatre. Rob is always thankful for family (which are close by!) and friends, and he couldn’t be happier about being here in Clarksville!
Darren Michael is overjoyed to be making his premiere on the Roxy stage with such a talented cast and crew. He is the Tennessee State Rep for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and a board member of the Tennessee Theatre Association. Also a member of the Dramatists Guild, Darren’s work includes the plays Willie Nelson Ain’t Dead, A Widow Safe and Secure, and Lyla Builds a Spaceship. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and the University of Southern Mississippi with training from Bretton Hall College (the late John Hodgson, University of Leeds), Darren is currently an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing at. Favorite credits include Aida (Zoser), Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat, (Narrator), A Christmas Carol (Scrooge), The Imaginary Invalid (Argan), and headlining the historical action/stunt show, Daniel Boone: The Man and the Legend. Darren would like to thank Tom and John for this wonderful opportunity and dedicates his performance to his beautiful wife Allie for her patience and love and to his family and friends for their unwavering support.
Ryan Bowie has made Clarksville his home, moving from NYC in January 2011, and is excited to return to the Roxy stage for the 29th season. Past Roxy credits include, among others, The Wedding Singer (George), Spring Awakening (Ernst / Reinhold), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Director / Performer), A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), The Sound of Music (Max), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Director / Choreographer), Into the Woods (The Baker) and Forever Plaid (Jinx). Other professional credits include Jesus in Godspell and Hamilton in the NYC premier of Dotty Dot: A New Children’s Musical, Freddy in My Fair Lady (Midwest), Jonas in The Giver (Chicago), Ryan in High School Musical (Midwest), J. Pierpont Finch in How to Succeed… (New York) and Matt in The Fantasticks (New York – tour). Training: Frostburg State University – BA Theatre: Acting & BA Music: Vocal Performance. Special thanks to his very supportive friends and family. Stay up to date at www.ryanbowie.com.
Josh Bernaski is excited to return to the Roxy stage as a member of this season’s company! Previous Roxy credits include The Wedding Singer (Robbie), Spring Awakening (Georg/Dieter), SchoolHouse Rock Live (Joe), The Red Badge of Courage (Samuel Thompson), Gross Indecency, The Winter’s Tale (Antigonus), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Happily Ever After, Into the Woods (The Wolf) and Forever Plaid (Sparky). Since graduating from Temple University,
Josh has worked at various theaters, including Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square last season as an Assoc. Company Member. Other favorite credits include: Seymour (Little Shop…), Willard (Footloose), and Kenny (From Up Here). Many thanks to this great cast, the Roxy staff, and my family. www.joshbernaski.com
Travis Kendrick was last seen on the Roxy stage playing a variety of characters in The Wedding Singer, and has had the extreme honor of being in numerous productions at the Roxy these past two years. New York City credits include: Flappers and Filosofers (Clark, choreographer; Rag ‘N Bone Theatre Company) and Dotty Dot: A New Children’s Musical (director, choreographer, co-writer; Rising Sun Performance Company). Other professional credits include: Peter Pan (Nibs, Gretna Theatre), High School Musical (Zeke Baylor, Maples Repertory Theatre), Big River (Ben Rogers, Loessin Summer Theatre), Anything Goes (Steward, Barksdale Theatre) and Ragtime (Harry Houdini, Pittsburgh Playhouse). Travis received his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. www.traviskendrick.com
Hannah Church a senior musical theatre major at Rockford College in Illinois, has taken this semester off to be a part of the Roxy’s 29th season. Hannah has been seen previously on the Roxy stage in Captain Louie (Roberta), The Wedding Singer, Spring Awakening (Wendla), The Winter’s Tale, The Sound of Music (Liesel), Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast and Bye Bye Birdie. She has also written her own musical adaptation of the short story The Yellow Wallpaper, which will be making its professional premiere at the Soubrette Theater in Austin, Texas, this October! She would like to thank Tom and John for giving her this opportunity to grow in her work, and all her family and friends for coming and always supporting her in her craft. This show is a blast, so “sit back, relax, and enjoy the performance!”
Ben Prayz is glad to be making his Roxy debut! An actor since 2008, Ben has worked pretty extensively in theatres throughout NYC and NJ. Favorite productions include: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Real Inspector Hound (T. Schreiber Theatre); Hirsch Died Yesterday (Woodie King Jr., dir. @ Castillo Theatre); A View from the Bridge (Studio Playhouse); Macbeth (Secret Theatre); and The Foreigner (Hudson Theatre Ensemble). Original musicals include: Dollface (Theatre for the New City); Muffin Man (2009 FringeNYC & Encores); In the Schoolyard (2010 FringeNYC & Dramatist Guild) and Celluloid (The Tank). Also, a bunch of independent films on IMDB, plus industrials and commercials. Most recently featured as the dad in Gaslight Anthem’s music video Every Word Handwritten. Many thanks to Tom, John, and the whole gang! www.benprayz.com
Jama Bowen as a recording artist, has had Top 40 hit songs on the radio, sung for President Bill Clinton, and performed across the U.S. and Europe with Sheryl Crow, Reba McEntire, George Jones, the Oak Ridge Boys, and many others. Her jazz group took top honors at the international jazz festival in Primorsko, Bulgaria, and Jama was a regular soloist on Nashville’s live radio show, “WSM Waking Crew.” Last seen on the Roxy stage as Rosie in The Wedding Singer, other recent theatre roles include the Geisha Madam, Pacific Overtures; Jeannie Garstecki, Great American Trailer Park Musical; Liliane La Fleur, Nine; Rhonda Lynn Lampley, Christmas Belles; Prudy Pingleton, Hairspray; and Marion Thayer, Titanic. Jama premiered the role of Mrs. Fezziwig in the new original musical, An American Country Christmas Carol, singing the debut of Bell Carol by Grammy-winning songwriter Pam Rose.
Regan Featherstone feels so lucky to be a part of this wonderful cast, following performances as Ziggy in Captain Louie, Glen Guglia in The Wedding Singer, Tom in SchoolHouse Rock Live and Hanschen/Rupert in Spring Awakening . Originally from Massachusetts, he now makes his home in NYC. Previous credits: My Fair Lady (Freddy) at the Broward Stage Door Theatre; ‘S Wonderful (Male Swing) at both the Broadway Palm in FL and on national tour; My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, and A Little Night Music at Gretna Theatre. Other favorite credits: Cinderella (Prince), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Michael), Three Penny Opera (Street Singer), Seussical (Gen. Schmitz), Beauty and the Beast, Brigadoon. B.A. in Theatre Performance from Wagner College. Love and thanks to his amazing family, friends, and teachers— especially Mom and Tom! For Dad and Gram.
[320right]Ashley Laverty is so excited to be performing in Happy Days! She is a company member at the Roxy this season and has been seen in, most recently, The Wedding Singer (Julia), Spring Awakening, Schoolhouse Rock Live, The Red Badge of Courage, The Winter’s Tale, Gross Indecency, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Happily Ever After and The Vagina Monologues. Ashley graduated from the musical theatre program at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and currently lives in New York City, where she has been seen in a variety of readings, new works and the original children’s musical, Awesome Allie First Kid Astronaut! Big thanks to Tom, John and the fabulous cast and crew! www.ashleylaverty.com
Erin Keas, a sophomore Liberal Studies major at Austin Peay State University, is thrilled to be returning to the Roxy for the remainder of their season! Erin’s most recent performance credits include Captain Louie, The Wedding Singer and Spring Awakening (Roxy Regional Theatre), Announcer in Gallantry! and Sally in A Hand of Bridge (Austin Peay Opera Theatre), and Frau Schmidt and Sister Bertha in The Sound of Music (Roxy Regional Theatre). She would like to thank her mom for always being her biggest fan.
Kaitlin Doughty is thrilled to be appearing as Pinky in Happy Days, following her Roxy debut as Holly in The Wedding Singer! She is from St. Louis and went to Southeast Missouri State University for Musical Theatre. Past credits include Holly in The Wedding Singer (National Tour), Maureen in Rent, Pickles in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and the Off-Broadway production of Cocaine: The Band: The Musical. Thanks to God and my family.
Sean Ormond is ecstatic to be appearing in Happy Days, following performances in Captain Louie (Louie), The Wedding Singer and Spring Awakening! A native of Stamford, Connecticut, Sean has appeared regionally in Brighton Beach Memoirs, 1776 (Kweskin Theatre), Full Monty (Playhouse on the Green) and High School Musical (Rich Forum), among others.
Humberto Figueroa, currently studying for his BA in Theatre Performance at Austin Peay State University, is a recurring performer at the Roxy Regional Theatre as well as an active board member at the Fronkensteen Experimental Theatre. Previous credits include Captain Louie (Julio), The Wedding Singer, Spring Awakening, Into the Woods (Steward), Rent, Joseph…Dreamcoat (Pharaoh) at the Roxy, as well as Juan in the Altar Boyz at Street Theatre and Terpsicore in Xanadu at Boiler Room Theatre. He has also been seen onstage at APSU, performing in Pirates of Penzance (Samuel), Ben and the Virtues (William), King Lear (Edmund) and Philo (Mantis). Humberto would like to thank Tom and John for helping him learn and develop his craft, and he would also like to thank his family for their patience, love and support.
Kourtni Lynn Cottrell
Kourtni Lynn Cottrell, age 10, is a student at East Montgomery Elementary School. She made her Roxy Regional Theatre debut last season as Marta in The Sound of Music and has since joined the Saturday School of the Arts and enjoyed acting at the Roxy. “I would like to thank my mom and dad for supporting me so much.”
Taiylor James, the oldest daughter of a military family, was born in Nashville and grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee. She began acting at the Roxy Regional Theatre when she started the Clarksville Parks & Rec. summer program. Near the end of the program she auditioned for and received her first role in the musical Happy Days. Multi-talented, Taiyor also enjoys playing piano, guitar and violin; dancing; singing and acting; and plans to continue on with a life in the theatre.
Truman Jepson, from Topeka Kansas, has been in The Sound of Music, A Christmas Carol, 13: The Musical, and 101 Dalmatians Jr. He is 14 years old and will be a freshman at Montgomery Central High School this fall. Truman enjoys photography and plays the trumpet. “I thank Tom and John for letting me have the opportunity to enjoy this experience of being in such a huge production. I also thank my parents for shuttling me to and from rehearsals and performances every day.”
Samantha Grimes is so grateful for the opportunity to be performing in Happy Days! She has been involved with the Roxy for six years now and was most recently seen in the Roxy’s theotherspace as Patrice in 13: The Musical. Other past performance credits include The Crucible, Honk and As You Like It.
Madeline O’Connor, a seventh grader at CA, is delighted to be working with the Roxy company on Happy Days. Some recent performance credits include: Chihuahua in 101 Dalmatians, 13: The Musical, The Winter’s Tale, Belinda in A Christmas Carol, and Marta in The Sound of Music. Madeline is grateful for a supportive family, her amazing instructor Travis who has made every day at internship a blast, and especially for John and Tom, who are terrific teachers and motivators and have further inspired Madeline’s love of the theatre!
Tom Thayer (Director/Staging) has been Managing Director of the Roxy Regional Theatre since its inception in 1983. Training includes Austin Peay State University and Lambuth College, and he is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC. While living in New York, he worked as a public relations liaison for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, created and taught dance programs at the Dwight School and created and taught young dramatics for the Rhodes School. He is the founder of the Clarksville Theatre Guild, as well as the Roxy Regional Theatre, and has performed off-Broadway as well as throughout the South. With Artistic Director John McDonald, he created the Roxy’s Professional Company and serves as a director of the Summer Playhouse drama camp, which is sponsored in conjunction with the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department. On behalf of the Roxy Regional Theatre, he recently accepted APSU’s 2012 Ovation Award for a Community Organization.
Emily Ford (Choreographer) has come to Clarksville and the Roxy from Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she was an adjunct professor of dance at Pikes Peak Community College, taught at various local dance studios, and danced with Ormao Dance Company. Emily graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a BFA in dance, where she studied under many of the nation’s top dance instructors and choreographers. She won awards for her choreography multiple times during her undergraduate career, and has more recently been awarded ‘best choreography’ at Dance Educators of America’s national dance competition. Emily couldn’t be happier to be at the Roxy working with these talented performers in Happy Days!
John McDonald is the founder and Artistic Director of the Roxy Regional Theatre. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, as an actor John has worked with the New York Shakespeare Festival, Macbeth with James Earl Jones; Long Wharf Theatre, A Lion in Winter with Ralph Waite; and productions of Long Days Journey Into Night (James); Macbeth (Macbeth); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (George); and numerous others. As an instructor, he has taught theatre at the American Academy, The Rhodes School, The Dwight School, Hewitt, and is the creator of the School of the Arts, an acting program for young performers. Writing and production credits include, among others, Jekyll and Hyde, The Red Badge of Courage, Dorothy Dix: Speaks!, Nora Witzel: A Very Curious Fella, The Picture of Dorian Gray, All Quiet on the Western Front, Poe Unearthed and Headin’ South, Goin’ North. On behalf of the Roxy Regional Theatre, he recently accepted APSU’s 2012 Ovation Award for a Community Organization.
Adam Kurtz (Production Stage Manager/Company Manager/Designer), a native of Detroit, Michigan, is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he received a BFA in Theatre in Design and Technology, specializing in Stage Management. This is his fourth season at the Roxy, and he is excited to be back. Adam’s previous Roxy credits include, among many others, The Wedding Singer, Spring Awakening, The Sound of Music, The Civil War, Into the Woods, RENT, Dracula, Ring of Fire, A Streetcar Named Desire, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and CATS. While here at the Roxy, Adam has had the opportunity and honor to function as the Sound Designer for numerous productions, as well as the Lighting Designer and Projection Designer from time to time. Adam would like to thank Tom and John for this wonderful opportunity, and his family (Mom, Dad, Matthew, Lucky the dog, Aunt Nancy & Aunt Karen) for all of their love, support and encouragement.
About The Authors
Garry Marshall (Creator/Writer) is a veteran producer, director and writer of film, television and theatre. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he went on to create, write and produce some of television’s most beloved sit-coms, including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple. Other plays he’s written include, Shelves, The Roast, co-written with Jerry Belson, and Wrong Turn at Lungfish with Lowell Ganz. He has directed 16 movies, among them are Valentine’s Day, Pretty Woman, Beaches, Overboard, and The Princess Diaries 1 & 2. In 1997 Mr. Marshall built The Falcon Theatre in Burbank with his daughter, Kathleen, where Happy Days A New Musical was developed. He loves working in this magical business, playing softball and spending time with his 6 grandchildren.
Paul Williams (Composer) is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter and President & Chairman of the Board of ASCAP. Recognized as one of America’s most gifted lyricists and composers, Paul’s standards, which include “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “You and Me Against the World” have been recorded by a dizzying array of artists. “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, is one of two songs that grace the American Film Institute’s list of the top movie songs of all time; the second, “Evergreen,” is from the award-winning remake of A Star Is Born. Additional song scores include the cult favorites Phantom of the Paradise and Ishtar, as well as The Muppet Christmas Carol, the Emmy nominated A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa, Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas now adapted for the stage, and Garry Marshall’s theatrical sensation Happy Days A New Musical. While publicly lauded for his work as a songwriter, performer, actor and humanitarian, Paul considers his son, Cole, and daughter, Sarah, to be his best work.