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Phipps holds auditions for 'Happy Days - A New Musical'

Auditions for "Happy Days — A New Musical," with the book by Garry Marshall, the creator of the "Happy Days" TV series, and music and lyrics by Paul Williams, a Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer, will be held Monday and Tuesday, April 30 and May 1, from 6:30-10 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson. Actors may schedule an individual vocal audition and group dance session by going to Callbacks will be held on Monday, May 7.

Director Joe Hendren, music director David Alstead, and choreographer Chris Adam are looking for a diverse cast of 16-20 performers who must be at least 16 years old. Strong vocalists and strong dancers are needed for the show, but a small number of dance-heavy roles that do not require extensive singing may be available. Special skills sought include tap dancing and roller skating. Those auditioning are asked to prepare 16-32 bars of a song that best displays their range and ability. An accompanist will be provided. Those auditioning are asked to bring sheet music in the appropriate key. They will also learn a dance routine, so they should dress for movement. Actors should also bring a list of all conflicts from May 7 through Aug. 5. A resume and headshot are appreciated, but not required.

Rehearsals are expected to begin the week of May 20 and will generally be five nights a week, between Sunday and Friday evenings, meaning some weeks may be Sunday-Thursday and some weeks may be Monday-Friday, depending on cast availability. Twelve performances are scheduled July 13 through Aug. 5 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Based on the classic television series, this musical comedy faithfully reintroduces audiences to familiar characters: Howard, Marion, Richie, and Joanie Cunningham; Potsie, Ralph Malph, Chachi, and, of course, The Fonz. The setting is 1959 Milwaukee. Richie and the gang are getting ready to graduate from high school. Meanwhile Fonzie's old flame, Pinky Tuscadero, arrives back in town and Arnold's malt shop is in danger of being demolished. "Happy Days — A New Musical" is high-energy, chock-full of nostalgia, and features a great musical score.

Hendren's directing credits include "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" for Theatre Uncorked and Chameleon Theatre, "A Man for all Seasons" at Open Window Theatre, "Antigone" at Hamline University, "Of Thee I Sing" at Lakeshore Players, "Happy Days" for Minneapolis Musical Theatre, and dozens of others.

Among Alstead's past music direction credits are "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Old Log Theater, "Of Thee I Sing" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at Lakeshore Players, "The Wizard of Oz:" for Rosetown Players, and many others.

Adam previously choreographed "Once Upon a Mattress" for The Phipps. He also choreographs for UW-River Falls Dance Theatre and teaches group fitness for the YMCA.

For further information, call The Phipps Center at 715-386-2305.