Goodbye grey skies, and hello blue.
The Hutchinson Theatre Company is bringing back the jukebox, poodle skirts and all things 1950s with its summer production of “Happy Days: A New Musical.”
Indeed, the 1980s sitcom is shifting to the stage for a musical with as many laughs as it had on TV. The four-show run begins with performances at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and finishes with a 2 p.m. show Sunday at the Hutchinson High School auditorium. Tickets are available at the Hutchinson Center for the Arts or online at hutchtheatre.org.
In this musical, the town’s beloved malt shop, Arnold’s, is in threat of demolition. In an effort to save it, the gang organizes a dance competition with plenty of hand jives to go around. Fonzie and Pinky may even get back together in the process.
Some may think that a story about the 1950s wouldn’t appeal to high schoolers, but AJ Olson disagrees.
“I have always wanted to live in the ’50s,” he said, “and joining this show was a great way to experience that. And it gave me something to do over the summer.”
For many cast members, it is their first time performing in a community theater show.
“I liked getting to work with the adults,” said Parker Duesterhoeft, who plays the lead of Richie Cunningham. “It’s so much fun to have the older and younger relationship that you don’t get with high school theater.”
Duesterhoeft also said that working with adults helped him improve his skills as an actor.
Samantha Hagberg wanted to join the cast because she grew up a fan of the show and watched it with her grandpa.
“That was one of my favorite childhood memories,” she said.
The performers aren’t the only ones in high school. There are a few youngsters on the tech crew and behind the scenes as well.
Running the musical tracks backstage is Eavan McCormick, who has participated in many high school musical orchestral pits.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to experience theater outside of school,” she said.
McCormick also looked to have more involvement in the behind-the-scenes operations of the stage.
“It’s nice to work with people who are experienced actors, along with ones who are new to acting” she said.
McCormick also appreciates the relationships she’s made along the way.
“You get to branch out and get to know people you wouldn’t normally talk to,” she said. “I really enjoy the great bond that happens between all of us, we all have to work as a team, for our show to go so well. It’s a great atmosphere and I’m really glad I can be apart of it”.