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items tagged with Keith Mitchell

Jumping the Shark: "Happy Days: A New Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through June 4
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-03-28 12:00:00

Laura Miller, Courtney Crouse, and Andrea Moore (center), and Laurie Sutton, Liz J. Millea, and Maeve Martin in Happy Days: A New MusicalIf the goal of Happy Days: A New Musical – making its Midwestern debut at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse – is to have the feel of the 1970s TV series, then playwright (and series creator) Garry Marshall and songwriter Paul Williams are working against each other. The book is reminiscent of the sitcom, with similar character dynamics and situations, but it comes across as a caricature of the TV show – purely wholesome, without the slight edge and hints of rebellion present in its televised incarnation. Williams’ songs, meanwhile, don’t suggest the series at all; it’s as if the tunes were taken from some other 1950s-themed musical, and plopped into an episode of Happy Days without consideration for whether they fit the characters.


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