Nostalgia & Good Food – “Happy Day’s –Grovin’ All Week With You!”
Written By Lorenzo Marchessi
If you want a truly wonderful experience of food, fun and musical entertainment then take the drive to Fontana and visit Tibbies Center stage Dinner Theatre for their wonderful production of “Happy Days!” Written (the book) by the creator and producer of the original series himself, Gary Marshall and Music and Lyrics by the “Muppet” master and recording artist himself, Paul Williams, the show takes you back into the late 50’s on romping musical journey.
Now before the show you get your choice of meat, fish or chicken that comes with rolls and a small cheesecake for dessert. For an additional fee you can get some more elaborate desserts and some really good appetizers. I recommend the Chicken Wellington, yummy!
Now on with the show….heading the “Happy Days” cast and basically telling the story is Chaz Feuerstine as Richie Cunningham. His narrates, reminisces and guides the story while having some really touching moments of music all to himself.
For me, the headliner of the production and focal point for all character was Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, played sharply by Johnny Fletcher. His vocal talent and range was quite impressive. His Fonz, along with the ensemble and music made the entire production a real joy to watch. Johnny really has a nice vocal style and delivers his troubled Fonz with more than a little attitude.
Another singer that stood out was Ralph Malph played by Alex Mendoza. Alex is an extremely talented performer with both acting and singing chops that could rival Broadway itself. And if you want to see the most upbeat and peppiest Arnold (restaurant owner) in the land, you have to see Hisato Masuyama. He was energetic, funny and always one of the cast you can count on for broad acting and humorous chops. Hisato was just a ‘hoot’ to watch and he can sing too!
Other stand out performances included that of Howard and Marion Cunningham, who’s parental advice was perfectly played by Joe Garcia and Melinda Messenger-Stout. They did an amazing job trying to sing certain life lessons into their kids that were not necessarily received and understood.
Shane Cottrell and Stanton Morales do a pretty amazing job performing and singing several characters as both the Malachi Brothers and as James Dean and Elvis (among others too!) They are hysterical to watch and carry some pretty snappy tunes throughout the show. Also, keep an eye on Jill Morrison playing Pinky Tuscadero and along with Johnny as the Fonz, have some really fantastic numbers and duets together.
How can you go wrong? Drive to Fontana, have a wonderful meal and watch a fantastically energized show that I’m sure you know very well. The whole gang is abck and with the musical score and choreography by Pinky herself – Jill Morrison – you are in for a great evening. Check them out at www.centerstagefontana.com.