‘Happy Days’ here again in Milford

Second Street Players’ cast members of “Happy Days: The Musical” include, back row, from left, John Zinzi, Sue Gerdes, Sydney Gross and Eryk Bluto. Front row, Abigail Pardocchi, left, and Jose Bernard. (Submitted photo/Second Street Players)

MILFORD — Summertime means happy days in downtown Milford, especially for the cast and crew at Second Street Players.

The group will bring back the nostalgia of the 50s and 60s with “Happy Days, A New Musical,” starting this weekend at the Riverfront Theater.

Based on the long-running hit TV show, the production features favorite characters such as Richie Cunningham, Potsie Webber, Ralph Malph and, of course, Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli.

“We have a really talented cast and a dedicated crew and production team. The number of hours put in for rehearsals, set building, costumes, props, dancing, etc. is huge,” said co-director Laura Howard.

“People should come see ‘Happy Days’ because it is truly a happy show. It is filled with dance, music and iconic characters. Fans of the TV show will love the references thrown in and everyone will enjoy the great music.”

Coming to the show over the next two weekends will even help audience members beat the July heat while supporting the community effort.

“It’s going to be a hot weekend and the theater is a great place to cool off,” she said. “I have really enjoyed the process of directing and doing it with community theater is so wonderful because everyone is volunteering their time and putting their heart and soul into the production.”

Original music for the show has been written by Oscar winner Paul Williams and the book was written by the TV series’ original creator Garry Marshall. The production is directed by Josh Gross and co-directed by Ms. Howard.

The story is set in approximately Season 4 of the original sitcom. The story concerns the kids’ plans to save Arnold’s diner from demolition by hosting a dance contest and wrestling match.

Jose Bernard plays Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

Familiar faces to Second Street Players’ audiences join the cast including Jose Bernard as Fonzie, Eryk Bluto as Richie Cunningham, John Zinzi as Howard Cunningham and Sydney Gross as Joanie Cunningham. The show also features several cast members new to the Milford scene, but not new to performing, including Sue Gerdes as Marion Cunningham and Abigail Pardocchi as Pinky Tuscadero.

“‘Happy Days’ featured stories of great friendships and a supportive, loving family. Over the past few months, this cast and crew have embodied that spirit – creating and strengthening friendships, supporting each other and growing together. It has been such fun with this talented group and we think the result is a great tribute to the show so many of us remember fondly,” Ms. Howard said.

Cast members of “Happy Days: The Musical” gather on stage. The show starts Friday night and runs this weekend and next at the Riverfront Theater in Milford.

“Happy Days, A New Musical” will be performed by the cast and crew of about 35 people today, Saturday and July 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday and July 28 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 each, with a $1 discount offered to seniors and students for Sunday matinees. They can be purchased in advance at www.secondstreetplayers.com or by calling 800-838-3006.

Riverfront Theater is at 2 S. Walnut St. in Milford.

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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