The CUE Review: Happy Days at WBT

Published: Thursday, May 19, 2016 By: Camille Kaiser Source: The CUE

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Westchester Broadway Theatre’s

HAPPY DAYS, A NEW MUSICAL

If you are looking for an evening of pleasant nostalgia with an interesting spin, this is the show for you. Director, Jonathan Stahl, assembled a multi-talented cast who brought the beloved characters from the TV series to the stage with verve and great charm. I did have to get past the fact that these memorable characters were singing and dancing, which altered their nature and added a degree of unfamiliarity.

Henry Winkler is indeed a tough act to follow, but Nick Varricchio portrays the super cool Fonzi with great appeal. Maria Logan, as Fonzi’s sultry girlfriend, Pinky, dominates the stage every time she makes an entrance. She sings and dances exceptionally well while completely nailing the saucy sexiness of a biker chick. Herb Porter gives a lively performance in the role of Richie Cunningham, Fonzi’s nerdy best pal. Peter Davenport and Lori Hammel offer spot-on portrayals of Richie's sitcom parents.

Adding to the fun are animated performances by Michael Linden as Potsie, Schyler Conaway as Ralph, Mia Weinberger as Joanie, Mike D’Amico as Chachi, Nicholas Park as the hyper, menacing Jumpy, Ian Parmenter  as Myron , and Peter Marinos as diner owner Arnold.

The music, by Paul Williams, is new and different and lots of fun and it’s a delight to watch the large cast frolic with merriment under Mr. Stahl‘s expert choreography and direction. The “Happy Days” theme song finale is an uplifting blockbuster.

 Performances of HAPPY DAYS continue through July 17th. For reservations, call (914) 592-2222.

Camille Kaiser

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