By William Mills
The musical ‘Happy Days’ opened last night to rapturous applause from the full house at the Theatre Royal, Brighton and runs ’till Saturday 25 January.
Set in a diner in Milwauke, Wisconsin, it depicts life in 1959 USA starring Heidi Range and Ben Freeman.
The script centres on a successful campaign to save the local diner from property developers which also depicting growing up pains for teenagers and their parents at the dawn of the Rock and Roll era.
The dozen scenes are split into two Acts before an after the interval each starting with some vocal acting before leading into a song and dance routine.
Freeman, playing Fonz, blends his acting skills gained from ten years with TV’s Emmerdale, together with his natural musical ability to superbly compliment Range’s character ‘Pinky‘, a beauty returning home after finding fame in Cincinnati.
Range, star of pop girl band ‘the Sugababes‘, initially blended in with the rest of a already good cast, came into her own as the evening unfolded with song after song.
This was live, pop mega star in front of our very eyes.
As the show went on she just got better with a truly top of the range act.
She wound the audience up brilliantly with them just wanting more leading to an extended finale with the packed ground floor stalls erupting into spontaneous dancing spilling into the isles.
The supporting cast, held their own, complimenting, rather than being totally outshone by Range, includes Emma Harrold playing Joanie and one to watch Sam Robinson as local bad boy ‘Jumpy Malachi.’
At two hours plus interval it was just the right length with the audience left visibly pleased by a really good evening yet at the same time just wanting more of Heidi Range.