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ALBERT LEA, MN – Whether you watched Happy Days when it was first on in the 1970’s and 1980’s, or you’ve re-runs in more recent years, chances are you’ve heard of Fonzie, Richie and the rest of the gang.
The popular television show has special significance in our area. Marion Ross, who played Mrs. Cunnigham on the show, is from Albert Lea. This week Marion is paying a visit to her hometown.
The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center is a symbol of pride in Albert Lea, a tribute to the actress who grew up here. Now, Marion is welcomed with open arms to the theater that’s named after her.
“It’s very emotional,” Marion said.
Marion is best known for playing Mrs. Cunningham on the hit television series Happy Days. And now, the musical based on the show is coming to life on the stage in Albert Lea. So Mrs. C herself is back in her hometown to watch the legacy of Happy Days live on.
“The appeal of Happy Days is, it’s hard to say, isn’t it? What would you say? Because it is the music, very much the music. And the simpler time. People, we yearn for that time,” Marion said.
Marion’s midwest roots shine through in her down to earth attitude. But her ties to Tinsletown can’t be concealed for too long. Take for example a phone call she just received from an old friend.
“The Fonz. I talked to him on the phone last night and I said what shall Isay for you. And he said ‘Tell them how cool it is. cool’ ,” Marion laughed, doing her best Fonzie impression.
As she graciously signed autographs and posed for pictures, it’s clear that Marion is the guest of honor. But she’s eager to share that spotlight with the cast and crew of this musical. And having her here, it’s definitely a happy day
“It’s opening night! I’m trying to think about how excited they are. Can you imagine, they are so excited. So it’s not about me, it’s about them,” she said.
To get your tickets to “Happy Days the Musical”, click here: http://actonbroadway.com/