Fonzie, Pinky and The Gang Say Farewell This Weekend

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on August 17, 2012

Goldilocks and The Three Pigs played to a sold-out crowd the day I went to see it at the Cumberland Arts Centre. The evening before, at the pay-what-you-can preview for Happy Days, we had the exact number of seats for the exact number of audience members — a miracle! Why? Because everything, even Danton’s Death, plays better to a full house, and those who are turned away may become soured and never return.

A few of the Parks and Rec Summer Theatre participants were in the cast of Goldilocks, and I’ll take any excuse to see theatre when I can. Jan Y. Dial did a masterly job of coordinating and managing a large number of young thespians (like trying to herd kittens). It is always fun to see children find themselves through theatre. Jan had it all under control, from directing children to selling tickets to running lights.

I was impressed and simply wallowed in the fact that I had no worries. I was there to have a good time, and I did. I was offered a comp, which (I hope) I graciously refused. I know theatres need every nickel they can get, so I paid my fair share and asked that she comp in some other needy soul.

And they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Well, I must disagree. I had one and it was delicious, served up with finesse at the Clarksville Country Club. Not only was the lunch free, but it also came with a check.

For the past 29 years, Hilldale Civitan Club has provided an outlet for musicians through their annual Fiddler’s Convention, keeping alive and well not only the fiddle, guitar, hammered dulcimer, mandolin and pennywhistle — but also keeping alive our American heritage, the sounds of music which were heard when the first settlers landed at Plymouth Rock. My hope is that the new center for arts and education will host the convention in the not-so-distant future.

On my way out to accept Hilldale Civitan’s generous check, I thought of the quality of mercy speech from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice: “Mercy is twice blessed; it blesses he that gives and he that takes.” Isn’t that what the Fiddler’s Convention does? The twenty-five Civitan members are blessed in keeping alive a great tradition and then twice blessed by offering up the proceeds to organizations like the Humane Society, Manna Café, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels and many others.

After this weekend, The Fonz, Pinky, Richie and all of their friends will say farewell to make way for the Roxy’s 30th season. Happy Days plays its final performance Saturday at 8pm, and then the theatre will take a brief hiatus before the September 14th opening of the hilarious Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5, starring Broadway and MTV star Bailey Hanks. Saturday, September 15, marks the 7th Annual “Frolic on Franklin: A Celebration of the Arts,” followed by the 30th Anniversary Roxy Gala. Tickets are going quickly, so make your reservations today!

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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