Ben Freeman is to star as ‘The Fonz’, and Cheryl Baker as ‘Mrs Cunningham’ together with the previously announced Heidi Range as ‘Pink Tuscadero’.
Happy Days A New Musical with book by Garry Marshall, music and lyrics by Paul Williams. Based on the Paramount Pictures television series “Happy Days” created by Garry Marshall. Creative consultant Henry Winkler.
West End leading man and “Emmerdale” star, Ben Freeman, will take on the role of ‘The Fonz’ in the UK Premiere and national tour of Happy Days A New Musical, together with Cheryl Baker as ‘Mrs Cunningham’ and the previously announced Heidi Range as ‘Pinky Tuscadero’.
Directed and choreographed by Olivier Award nominee Andrew Wright, Happy Days A New Musical will open at the Churchill Theatre Bromley on Tuesday 14th January 2014 (previews from Saturday 11th January), before starting on a national tour. The full tour schedule can be found at www.happydaysthemusical.co.uk
Ben Freeman is currently performing as ‘Fiyero’ in Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. His other West End credits include ‘Warner’ in Legally Blonde, and ‘Norman’ in Dreamboats and Petticoats. Ben is known to many for his role as ‘Scott Windsor’ in ITV’s Emmerdale.
Cheryl Baker was part of the pop group Bucks Fizz, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981, with the group subsequently having more than twenty hit records including three number ones. She made her theatrical debut in the musical Footloose, starring in the opening tour and in the West End. Her other musicals include ‘Mrs Potts’ in Beauty and the Beast and Menopause The Musical. A popular television regular, in 2012 Baker took part in Celebrity Masterchef and she was also the first runner-up on Pop Star To Opera Star in 2011.
Heidi Range is probably best-known for being the longest serving current member of the Sugababes. In 2012, she took part in the ITV series, Dancing on Ice, and later in the Dancing on Ice live UK tour. Heidi was one of this year’s Celebrity Masterchef contestants.
The rest of the cast includes: Lucy-Jane Adcock, Charlie Allen, Henry Davis, Ray Gardner, Emma Harrold, Grace Holdstock, Katie Monks, Eddie Myles, James Paterson, Edwin Ray, Sam Robinson, Andrew Waldron, Scott Waugh and Jason Winter.
Happy Days A New Musical is written by Garry Marshall, the creator of the popular television series Happy Days. Garry is also the director of many world-wide hit films including Pretty Woman, Beaches and The Princess Diaries 1&2. The show includes 21 original songs by Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning Hall of Fame Songwriter, Paul Williams (Bugsy Malone, Evergreen, Rainy Days and Mondays). The new musical also includes the memorable Happy Days tv show theme tune.
Henry Winkler, the original Fonz from the television series, is Creative Consultant, working alongside the director in creating the ‘Happy Days’ world of 1959 America and guiding the cast in creating their ever so familiar characters, especially that of ‘The Fonz’.
Happy Days A New Musical is a humorous feel-good musical that will have you rockin’ and rollin’ as much as the tv show! This new show which is based on the hit TV series features the unforgettable ‘King of Cool’ Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli. Join your favourite ‘50s family, the Cunninghams and the rest of the gang – Potsie, Ralph Malph, Joanie and Chachi as they fight to save their beloved diner Arnold’s from being demolished. In a race against time, can ‘The Fonz’ save the day?
Director and choreographer Andrew Wright whose recent work includes Chichester Festival Theatre’s Barnum (Theatre in the Park), and Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre, National Tour and Chichester Festival Theatre) for which he won Best Choreographer at the What’s On Stage Awards 2013 and was nominated for Best Choreographer at the Olivier Awards 2012.
Happy Days A New Musical is presented in partnership with Ed’s Easy Diner, the popular chain of retro-American diners that successfully captures the essence of the classic US original, which is an iconic symbol of a memorable period in American history. It was a quarter of a century ago that Ed’s Easy Diner opened its doors in London’s Soho, rising to more than twenty diners nationwide.
by Neil Cheesman @LondonTheatre1
Thursday 5th September 2013