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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon theatre department to present ‘Happy Days’

May 07, 2018 03:39PM ● By Julie Slama

Corner Canyon theatre department will present the musical “Happy Days” May 16–17. The musical is based on the television show of the same name. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

It will be Richie, Fonzie and all the gang at Arnold’s Drive-In this May in the upcoming “Happy Days” production at Corner Canyon High School.

“It’s like taking a storyline from the TV show and putting it on stage,” said theater teacher Phaidra Atkinson. “It’s fun. Garry Marshall wrote it so it’s just like the episodes or like a cleaner version of ‘Grease’ set to stage.”

The show, based on the comedy TV sitcom that ran from 1974 to 1984, will be performed at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 16 through Saturday, May 19, as well as with a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday, May 19. Tickets are $8 in advance at our.show/cornercanyon or $10 at the door. It will be performed in an intimate setting, so seating is limited to 130 seats per night. 

The show stars senior Sam Schino as Fonzie; senior Anna Wilcox as Pinky Tuscadero; junior Kaleb Maher as Richie; senior Hope Weaver as Marion Cunningham; sophomore Gavin Sueltz as Howard Cunningham; and senior Nicole Canaan as Joannie. Joining them on stage will be senior Gabe Bennion as Arnold; senior Spencer Roush and senior Stoney Grayer as the Millachi brothers; and senior Bailey Schepps, senior Hannah Eckersley and junior Abby Walker as the Pinkettes.

“This is a very student-based show so they have stepped up to take a lead in the production,” said Atkinson, who is co-directing it with technical director Case Spalding.

Helping with music direction are seniors Weaver and Schepps. Choreography for “The Pink is in Town” is by Wilcox, Schino and Canaan; “Message in the Music” is by Weaver and senior Lacey Nichols; “Run” is by Grayer and Bennion; and “Ordinary Hero” is by senior Haylee McKinnon and Eckersley.

“The music is filled of fun ’50s songs, so parents and grandparents will appreciate it,” Atkinson said, adding that the TV theme song, “Happy Days,” also is performed.

In the musical, the storyline is set in 1959 Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Richie Cunningham and his best friends Potsie Weber and Ralph Malph are about to graduate high school and learn that Arnold’s Drive-In is set for demolition. Together, with the Fonz, they make plans to save Arnold’s by hosting a dance contest, and Richie’s dad, Howard, suggests a wrestling match.

“I grew up watching ‘Happy Days’ and loved it. When I learned there was a musical, I knew it would fit our class. It’s a fun family show and the parents are looking forward to it as much as the kids,” Atkinson said, adding that she believes this will be the first time the show has been performed in Utah.

The show comes off of students performing in regional competition. The students took first place sweepstakes and first place in their one-act play with “Dr. Faustus.” Junior Jessica Oehlerking won best actress for her part in the play.

Other student winners include in dramatic monologue: junior Paige Richards, first; sophomore Tanner Lybbert, third; Bennion, state qualifier; and sophomore Abby McMullen, state qualifier.

In humorous monologue, junior Evelyn Ellsworth, first; sophomore Ryan Woerner, second; junior Anna Petersen, state qualifier; sophomore Marty Bodell, state qualifier.

In classical scene, the team of Oehlerking and Eckersley won first; the team of seniors Tyler Miller and Savanna Cox took third; and the teams of junior Brian Garrick and senior Nichols and the team of sophomore Gavin Sueltz, Tyler Van Oostendorp and Rouch qualified for state.

In musical theater, Weaver and sophomore Tim Feroah took second place; and Schepps and sophomore Grace Christensen qualified for state.

In contemporary scenes, Grayer and Schino placed second and Maher and junior Riley Mellenthin took third. McKinnon and Canaan as well as Anna Wilcox and junior Shyler Naegle qualified for state.

In pantomime, sophomores Olivia Gillespie and Larkin Johnson took third place. Sophomore CC Witzel and freshman Willow Rosenberg; sophomores Cambria Hayes and Colin Baker; and sophomores Jenni McIff and Izzy McCaffrey all qualified for state.

State competition was scheduled for late April.