Earlier this afternoon, cast members from the new Happy Days musical assembled at Ed’s Diner, an, American-style, 1950s retro diner located in the Birmingham Bullring’s iconic Selfridges building. Dressed up in baseball jackets and ready for burgers and shakes were the Sugababes’ Heidi Range, Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker and Emmerdale’s Ben Freeman, who play Pinky Tuscadero, Mrs Cunningham and The Fonz, respectively.
Full of Spring cheer and energy, two massive musical shows guaranteed to brighten up the rainy days will be bounding over to the Birmingham Hippodrome in March and April.
First up, on Tuesday 18th March, Chichester Festival Theatre’s acclaimed production of Singin’ in the Rain will make its down from the West End’s iconic Palace Theatre. So far, the show has received four Olivier Award nominations, and has played to over 750,000 people. Due to massive demand, an extra matinee performance has already been added to the Hippodrome run at 2pm on Friday 21 March.
The production, which features, “half a mile of flexible pipe work, and a 10 tonne water tank and a water system that creates a downpour from above and flooding from below the stage,” and uses over 12,000 litres of water per performance, is directed by Jonathan Church, who served as artistic director of the Birmingham REP from 2001-06. Starring in the show will be James Leece and Amy Ellen Richardson as lovers Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden, Stephane Anelli as sidekick Cosmo Brown, Steps singer Faye Tozer as demanding starlet Lina Lamont, and international stage and screen star Maxwell Caulfield as studio boss R. F. Simpson.
Said Rob McPherson, the Hippodrome’s Director of Marketing and Development:
“Singin’ in the Rain is one of musical theatre’s classic masterpieces and it’s great to see that the show is as popular now as it ever has been. Due to a downpour of public demand we are pleased to announce an extra matinee performance in order to allow as many people of Birmingham the chance to dig out their umbrellas and join us in the days of Hollywood gone by – we are looking forward to seeing those who will be braving the ‘splash zone’ in the front few rows…”
To get some exclusive behind the scenes insights from star of the show Max Caulfield, check out the latest Hippodrome podcast here. Plus, for a chance to win some extra special Singin’ in the Rain goodies, follow @brumhippodrome on Twitter and send us a picture of yourself singing in the rain. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BHSingin!
Singin’ in the Rain is showing at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday 18th March until Saturday 5th April. Tickets are priced from £16-45 with some £5 First Night seats available for those aged 16-23. You can book via the Birmingham Hippodrome website, or by calling 0844 338 5000. If you’re using the First Night scheme, don’t forget to tell us what you think here.
Following this, a brand new musical based on the classic TV series Happy Days will be making its UK premiere at the theatre, featuring all the original characters as they battle to save their diner Arnold’s from demolition.
Happy Days – A New Musical is written by Garry Marshall, creator of the original show and director of many hit feature films including Beaches, Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries. In addition to the Happy Days theme tune, it will feature 21 brand new songs by Bugsy Malone composer and Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning songwriter Paul Williams.
Starring in the show will be Emmerdale’s Ben Freeman as The Fonz, Sugababes singer Heidi Range as Pinky Tuscadero and Bucks Fizz’s Cheryl Baker as Mrs Cunningham. Choreography is by Andrew Wright, who also choreographed the current tour of Singin’ in the Rain, while original “Fonz” Henry Winkler will act as Creative Consultant. Amy Anzel, who featured in recent Channel 4 documentary The Sound of Musicals, is producing.
Happy Days – A New Musical will be showing at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday 22nd until Saturday 26th April. Tickets are priced from £15-37 and can be booked from the Birmingham Hippodrome website, or by calling 0844 338 5000. If you are aged 16-25 and are purchasing £5 First Night tickets, please give us your thoughts here.