Take a nostalgic trip to the carefree 1950s, where the guys sport pompadours, the girls dig poodle skirts, teens dance to the jukebox at the malt shop, hot rods and motorcycles are cool, and young love is just around the corner. But wait a minute...this isn't Grease? No, it's the apparent fulfillment of schlockmeister Garry Marshall's decades-long dream to turn his TV show into a musical and further lobotomize American audiences with feel-good tripe. (Recession? What recession? Just go have fun!) So even though everything about this vapid-looking creation reeks of Grease, it's actually Fonzie, Ralph, Potsie, the Cunninghams, etc., dancing and singing to a pastiche score written by none other than Paul Williams ("Rainbow Connection," "Evergreen," "We've Only Just Begun," many others). If you've wondered what Marshall's been doing since producing his last bad movie or delivering another awful screen performance, the answer is that he's been working on the Happy Days book, which attempts to turn a sitcom plot into a full-length story. Scuttlebutt says the dancing's energetic, and maybe if you're into the '50s thing enough, you'll find entertainment here. Superfans will be glad to know that the original Happy Days theme by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox made it into the show. Varsity sweater optional.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 5. Continues through May 10, 2009