HAPPY DAYS Opens This Thursday and Friday

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on July 13, 2012

King is the name his mother gave him, and it suits him.

His mother had a difficult pre-pubescent row to hoe and a rocky adolescence. She was one of my special finds, a young talent in whose future I saw Julliard, but instead she married a fine gentleman. Together they created a golden boy and named him King, so he would, by name alone, not have any of the struggles she had faced in her youth.

I was introduced to the young lad a few days before he and his mom came to see a performance of A Christmas Carol. At the end of the show, King asked his mother where I was, as he expected to see me in it. He did not put me together with that old man playing Scrooge. Is it a comment on a child’s naivete or one’s superb acting skills? I prefer to think the latter.

The Parks and Rec Summer Playhouse came to an end on Thursday, and with it forty young people showed off — yes, showed off — their skills. This summer, only one child cried. I don’t consider the summer a success unless one does and then overcomes the tears and carries on. The carrying on is all.

I made a Sunday outing to Portland, where dear ole friend and renowned artist Olen Bryant now resides. He and his longtime companion, the late Tom Brumbaugh, were honored for their support of the Portland Public Library. Named for them is a green space set aside in their honor.

I remember the late Rosemary Roby, who was with the Parking Authority, paying me a compliment after ending a pretty frightening and unredeemable rendition of Marley, which was if nothing else just plain scary. I had come down to the edge of the stage at the end of the performance, removed my makeup and explained to a crowd of wary children that I was only making believe and pretending (rattling chains notwithstanding). She was pleased that I had done that and told me so. I was pleased to receive her compliment and told her so. Her retort was, “I wanted to give you flowers while you were alive and could enjoy them.

I’m reminded of dear Mamie Jean Harper and all of the good she has done for our library. Why not give her flowers while she can enjoy them? I know we would not be here without her help, nor would our library be as fine as it is today had it not been for Mamie Jean’s many years of labor.

Happy Days had an early pay-what-you-can performance on Thursday. With great enthusiasm, a sold-out crowd greeted this walk down nostalgia lane, which promises to be the big hit of the summer. It plays tonight at 8pm, with no performance this Saturday, then resumes next Wednesday and Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, and next Saturday, July 21, at 2pm and 8pm (following our 6pm cookout at F&M Bank).

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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