Lance's Journal: Happy Days For G.I. Native, Feb. 9

Lincoln's own TADA Productions is kicking off it's 10th anniversary season with the regional premiere of "Happy Days: The New Musical."

And there's one Grand Island native named Patrick Brown that can't wait for the curtain to go up. Although he was yet to be born when Happy Days went of the air on 1984, Patrick has a great appreciation for the classic television show that aired for 11 seasons. Thanks to re-runs, Patrick is well aware that he bears a striking resemblance to one of the stars of the TV show, Richie Cunningham.

This 19 year old Grand Island Northwest graduate is ready to get the show underway, "I'm really excited, my family, they're really excited to come down and see me play this classic character who's been around for a long time. It's really a dream to be able to do this in real life."

In the TV series, the role of Richie was played to perfection by Ron Howard, "Richie Cunningham is this All-American kind of guy. He's very honest and he likes to stick up for things he believes in," says Patrick. "The most challenging thing I've had with Richie is staying upbeat and positive all the time and it's very inspirations to do that cause I go home smiling."

Patrick says the audience will easily connect with his character and the rest of the gang, "Every person in this cast is very talented and they stay true to the characters so you'll instantly recognize those characters and it's very cool to see."

Directing Happy Days is TADA's co-founder Robert Rook, "The neat thing about getting regional premieres to Lincoln, we worked for two years to get this show here but what I'm really excited about is we get to showcase all the fabulous talent we have in Nebraska."

Patrick says, "I think the community of Lincoln is just going to be proud of what we put together because it's truly been a very professional, fun and amazing production to work on."

The two weekend run of Happy Days: The New Musical opens Thursday night at the Lied Center's Johnny Carson Theatre.

For tickets, call the Lied Center box office at (402) 472-4747 or on-line at www.liedcenter.org


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