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Home » Santa Clarita News » ‘Happy Days: A New Musical’ To Play TO In October

‘Happy Days: A New Musical’ To Play TO In October

theaterartThe whole gang is here: Richie…. Potsie…. Ralph Malph… Joanie… Chachi… Mr. and Mrs. C. … and the Fonz!

Aaaayyyyy! Arnold’s Diner is in trouble, and it’ll take the whole “Happy Days” gang to save it, when Cabrillo Music Theatre’s all-new production of “Happy Days: A New Musical” takes to the Kavli Theatre stage.

“Happy Days: A New Musical” opens Friday, October 22 and plays until Sunday, October 31 at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

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“Happy Days: A New Musical” brings the beloved television series to life as a stage musical. “Happy Days,” the television series, ran for 11 seasons and a whopping 247 episodes, begat classic spinoffs “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy,” and launched countless actors and directors to stardom. “Happy Days: A New Musical” combines the fun and joy of the television show with tuneful music and dazzling dance to create a new stage musical with a charm all its own. Boasting a new book by series creator Garry Marshall, and brand new songs from Oscar-winning songwriter Paul Williams, “Happy Days: A New Musical” is a rock ‘n’ roll blast from the past.

“This brand new production of the beloved television show is going to raise the roof at the Civic Arts Plaza.” said Carole W. Nussbaum, Cabrillo’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This isn’t just an episode of the television series. Series Creator Garry Marshall and the great Paul Williams have combined to make “Happy Days: A New Musical” a perfect show for Cabrillo Music Theatre audiences.”

In addition to the series’ title song, Williams’ new songs include, “Welcome to Wisconsin,” “Snap,” “The Pink’s In Town,” and “What I Dreamed Last Night.”

Cabrillo Music Theatre’s new production will star theatre veterans Derek Keeling (as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli) and Misty Cotton (as “Pinky” Tuscadero). Keeling is well-known as a finalist from the television series, “You’re The One That I Want,” and the resulting Broadway run as Danny Zuko in “Grease.” Cotton starred in the off-Broadway production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” a role she’ll repeat in Cabrillo’s upcoming production. Joining them are Tracy Lore, a Southern California musical theatre fixture, as Marion Cunningham, and Derek Klena, co-star of Cabrillo’s recent “Cinderella” as Richie.

“Happy Days: A New Musical” will be performed October 22-31, and will be directed by Susan Morgenstern. John Charron will choreograph, while Lloyd Cooper musical directs and leads the Cabrillo Music Theatre Orchestra. The production will be overseen by Cabrillo’s Artistic Director Lewis Wilkenfeld and Associate Producer of “Happy Days,” Barry Pearl. “Happy Days: A New Musical” is perfect entertainment for the entire family, and is recommended for all ages.

Susan Morgenstern (Director). An actress since the age of five, Susan crossed over into directing when she began staging musical theatre concert productions while co-teaching American Musical Comedy with Tom Lehrer at UC Santa Cruz. She went on to teach and direct musicals at the renowned Stage Door Manor performing arts camp in upstate New York. In Los Angeles; her direction of “The Ascension of Lili” at the Two Roads Theatre received critical acclaim. Susan has directed various works at Theatre West, including selections from “All in the Timing:” the company’s inaugural Youth Theatre musical, “Just Too Cool;” several original pieces and staged readings; the musical, “Saturday Night at Grossinger’s,” which played for several months to sold-out houses; and most recently, “The Socialization of Ruthie Shapiro.” At the Falcon Theatre, she directed “Leap,” “Surviving Sex,” and the recent hit comedy, “The Psychic.” She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, and heartily applauds everyone who supports live theatre.

John Charron (Choreographer) Broadway and National Tour (Associate Choreographer) of “Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby” (Emmy Nomination, Tony Nomination Best Revival), National Tour “Seussical the Musical.” Regionally over 25 musicals including “The Wizard of Oz” (Drama Logue Award), “Beehive” (Drama Logue Award), “Funny Girl and Gypsy!” (Robby Award Nominees), “Oklahoma!,” “Show Boat,” “The Music Man” and “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. Previous shows for Cabrillo Music Theatre include “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “The Music Man,” “Damn Yankees,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Oklahoma!,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Gypsy!” Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney Seas are a few of the many theme parks for which John has choreographed. John also had the pleasure of directing and choreographing Ann-Margret’s Here and Now, which recently toured the U.S. John has been a director/choreographer for Holland America Cruise Line for the past 13 years with more than 70 shows on the high seas.

Lloyd Cooper (Musical Director) is pleased to be working once again with Cabrillo Music Theatre. This production of “Happy Days – A New Musical” is a particular pleasure since he worked very closely with both Garry Marshall and Paul Williams for several years during its creation. Lloyd has won three Drama-Logue Awards for Best Musical Direction and received awards for Plan-B Entertainment’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” He has worked as composer, arranger, and/or conductor in such television shows as “Father Dowling,” “Matlock” and “Perry Mason” and the films “The Prince of Tides,” “Godzilla” and “The Holiday.” He worked with Barbra Streisand and Stephen Sondheim in rehearsing and choosing music for her “Back To Broadway” album. He recently served as orchestrator and musical director (music by Stephen Schwartz) for “My Antonia” at the Rubicon. Lloyd and his wife, Barbara Matteson Cooper, have a successful night club career and have recorded four albums of original music which have reached audiences all over the world.

Derek Keeling (Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli) is known to Broadway audiences for playing “Danny Zuko” in the Broadway revival of “Grease.” He comes directly from his largely successful New York City concert at Feinstein’s. Last summer he won the MITF Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Barry in “Connect-Disconnect “ (June Havoc Theatre in Manhattan). In LA he recently played Skip in the new Roger Bean New York-bound musical “Life Could Be A Dream.” Other credits include, Charles Darnay in the World Premiere of the Broadway musical “A Tale Of Two Cities,” Chad in “All Shook Up” (Musical Theater West), Danny in the national tour of “Grease” (with Frankie Avalon and Chubby Checker), “As You Like It,” “When Pigs Fly,” “Street Scene,” “The Zoo Story” and “The Lost Colony.” Derek went to Mars Hill College where he studied musical theatre and holds a BA from the University of Kentucky where he studied theatre and opera.

Misty Cotton (Pinky Tuscaredo). Broadway/National Tours: Ellen in “Miss Saigon,” Eponine in “Les Misérables” and Narrator in “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (opposite Donny Osmond). She has performed at many regional theatres across the country including South Coast Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Old Globe Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, and The Kennedy Center. Some favorites roles and shows are: Violet in “Side Show” (Colony Theatre – Ovation, Garland, and Robby Awards), Petra in “A Little Night Music” (SCR-LADCC Award: Best Featured Actress), Cathy in “The Last Five Years” (Pasadena Playhouse), Soubrette in “Sophisticated Ladies” (Civic Light Opera South Bay Cities – Ovation Nomination), Missy in “Marvelous Wonderettes” (Off Broadway, Laguna Playhouse, and Sacramento Music Circus), Annie in “Annie Get Your Gun” (CLOSBC), “Miss Saigon” (Theatre Under The Stars-Houston and CLOSBC), Percy in “Spitfire Grill” (Laguna Playhouse and Utah Shakespearean Festival), Leonide in “Triumph Of Love” (ICT and Performance Riverside), Fay in “Anyone Can Whistle,” Nancy in “Oliver!” (CLOSBC and Starlight Theatre), Marta in “Company,” Nellie Ewell in “Summer And Smoke” (with Jo Beth Williams), Macbeth, Johnny Guitar, Lucille in “Parade” (Musical Theatre Guild), Eve/Mama Noah in “Children Of Eden” (Utah Musical Theatre), Lucy in “Jekyll And Hyde,” Kate in Andrew Lippa’s “Wild Party” (MTG). She is also proud to have originated roles in two other Roger Bean productions: Katy Lane in “Honky Tonk Laundry” (Milwaukee Rep) and Missy in “Winter Wonderettes” (Milwaukee Rep, El Portal Theatre, Laguna Playhouse). Misty is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts a member of the LA based Musical Theatre Guild (MTG) and a proud member of Actors Equity. P.S.-yes this is my real name.

“Happy Days: A New Musical” will open on Friday, October 22 and run through Sunday, October 31. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (note this new time), Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. A post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience will follow the Saturday, October 23 matinee performance.

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks or through any Ticketmaster location or by phone (800) 745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, please call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8613. Ticket prices range from $30-$76. For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).

Cabrillo Music Theatre’s 2010-2011 season continues with “The Marvelous Wonderettes” (February 4-13, 2011), “The Producers” (April 8-17, 2011) and “The Sound of Music” (July 22-31, 2011). In addition, Cabrillo’s 2010 Holiday Spectacular will be performed December 21-24.

Cabrillo Music Theatre is the Ovation Award-winning Resident Musical Theatre Production Company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and a non-profit theatre organization. For over three decades, Cabrillo has been enriching the cultural life of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and the surrounding areas by providing an extraordinary performing arts experience through live, Broadway-quality productions of musical theatre. It is Cabrillo’s mission to provide the highest quality musical experience, to foster educational opportunities, and to promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California. To this end, Cabrillo Music Theatre has established the Adopt-A-School, Adopt-A-Senior, Reachout and PET (Project Entertainment Troops) outreach programs. Since the inception of these programs in 2005, over 27,000 underserved children, in-need seniors, and active military have enjoyed Cabrillo Music Theatre’s productions at no charge. With the Adopt-A-School, Adopt-A-Senior and PET programs, Cabrillo makes live theatre accessible to children, seniors, and active military members who otherwise may never have the opportunity to experience a live musical theatre performance. Cabrillo’s animal rescue program, instituted during our 2009 production of “Cats,” raises funds and awareness for homeless and abused dogs and cats. For more information about Cabrillo Music Theatre’s outreach programs, contact Carole W. Nussbaum, President/Chief Executive Officer at (805) 497-8613, or at



‘Happy Days: A New Musical’ To Play TO In October

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