Happy Days are Ahead in Albert Lea

KIMT News 3

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ALBERT LEA, MN – It’s time to put on your dancing shoes and warm up your vocal chords.

The Albert Lea Community Theatre is getting ready to cast their summer musical. And it’s not just any musical. This show has special significance for this community.

A life-size replica of Marion Ross sits in the lobby of the theater that’s named after her. But soon, the cardboard cutout will be replaced by the actress herself.

“We are so geared up for the visit of Marion Ross coming back to the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center,” said Albert Lea Community Theatre Board Co-President Rosalie Truax.

Ross is best known for her role as Marion Cunningham on the popular sitcom Happy Days, which aired for 11 seasons in the 1970′s and 1980′s.

But her story begins long before that, and miles away from the bright lights of hollywood. She has roots in Southern Minnesota.

“Marion Ross moved to Albert Lea when she was in 3rd grade, so she went to school here from 3rd grade to 10th,” said Pat Mulso, Executive Director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum.

And she’s left her hand prints all over the town.

“Her growing up years were here, so she considers this her hometown because this is what she remembers,” said Mulso.

Now, the show that made her famous is coming to the place where she grew up. Though the stage is silent now, it will soon be filled with the sounds of  Happy Days the Musical.

“What could be more perfect than doing Happy Days in Albert Lea, Minnesota in the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center? It just seemed like an absolute no-brainer,” said Truax.

Also a no-brainer, inviting Ross back to Albert Lea to watch the show that shaped her career come to life in her hometown.

“When I first told her about this, she was excited. It was a year and a half ago and she immediately put it on her calendar,” Truax said.

Come July, when she’s sitting in one of the seats, there are sure to be many happy days.

“We certainly welcome her here and look forward to her visit,” said Mulso.

Auditions are being held on Wednesday, May 22nd and Thursday, May 23rd at 7:00pm at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. There are only three adult roles in this musical, so they’re looking for alot of high schoolers and college students.

There will be a total of 10 performances from July 10th-20th. Tickets are already going fast, so to reserve your seats, click here: http://actonbroadway.com/

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