Two Final Weeks of HAPPY DAYS

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on August 10, 2012

David Foster has saved my … yet again!

Happy Days had a very short fuse — that’s a phrase Marge Lillard uses to refer to “fewer rehearsals than usual and an opening too close for comfort.” Marge is a longtime Roxy alumni, fellow former Memphian and ex-vaudevillian, so she knows her stuff.

Props are then wanted post-haste — twenty-plus toilet plungers, to be exact. I had searched out Dollar General and found two. I couldn’t see myself driving all over kingdom-come, nor could I be sure that they all would be the same. I’m very … retentive when it comes to matching plungers.

So I went to David Foster at Orgain Building Supply, who ordered them for me with an arrival date of Thursday’s opening, the same day the 60-plus Parks and Rec Summer Theatre participants had their 2pm “informance.” That was cutting it short. What if … I hated to think what.

So, David came through yet again. I was able to emcee the “informance” and leave immediately after by the stage door. Happily, David cut me a deal on the plungers since I had ordered so many.

The plungers all had to be painted different colors. Luckily, board member Walter Marczak keeps us well-stocked with Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee, of which I am a big fan. I save the cans with their airtight lids to store every shade of color that Clare Coyle Taylor mixes up for our sets. I have dozens — you name it. So, after joyfully enjoying the children, I’m back in paint clothes, assembling the plungers (time which I had not figured into the equation) and painting them more colors than the rainbow allows.

At 6pm, the actors had their first rehearsal with the plungers. They were a bit tacky, but the show must go on … and did at 7pm. Thank you, David.

School has begun, but before I forget, I want to honor those twenty-four outstanding young people who grew as performers and graced our stage this summer in our Parks and Rec Summer Theatre program. Honored with the accolade of “Performer of the Week” were: Johnathan Gossett, Zola Greer, Taiylor James, Rhiannon Pinckney; Sam Beals, Katherine Crow, Allison Ferebee, Jeremiah Johnson; Courtney Bailey, Saige Mazur, Tori Toney, Javon White; Allison Bagwell, Whitney Flickinger, Jordan Johnson, Cora Wilson; Hope Branscome, Paige Hartsock, McKenna Langford, Jon White; Bailey Bailey, Jordan Hawley, Lindsay Profitt and Christopher Roberts.

Curriculum productions, such as The Giver, A Christmas Carol, Heidi, Civil War Stories and Romeo & Juliet, which play daytimes for a reduced ticket price, are now being booked via the box office at roxytheatre@bellsouth.net or 931-645-7699. Funding support for field trips can be received by applying for the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Student Ticket Subsidy grants (www.tn.gov/arts/Student_Ticket_Subsidy.htm) or for Target Field Trip grants.

The hit nostalgic musical Happy Days plays for two more weeks, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee this Saturday, August 11.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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