Lindsey Halfhill ‘10
Queen Creek High School, Queen Creek Arizona
Arthur Fonzarelli, more commonly known as “The Fonz,” was an unforgettable character of the 70’s. Now, thirty-four years since the television show’s debut, an equally unforgettable actor is being called to take on the role in the Happy Days musical. However, it’s not an easy task to portray the same character that Henry Winkler perfected over three decades ago. And yet one man rose to the challenge. Joey Sorge has been welcomed by audiences as the new “Fonz.” But what of the differences between Winkler and Sorge? Audiences don’t seem to notice, or mind. Considering that Sorge is practically the mirror image of the character, it will almost be like watching the television show.
Don’t expect to see the same old thing, though. Happy Days is a musical, so get ready for an exciting night filled with upbeat music and period-appropriate dance numbers. According to Sorge, their is enough nostalgia to make up for the change in cast, while bringing back old memories and creating new ones. The older audience will be able to recapture the time in which Happy Days was the most popular thing around, while a younger audience can gain a new appreciation of the series and what it has to offer. Even though we are in a different time period, Sorge is positive that the show will be a hit. It’s a musical for all age groups. And no matter how much we progress, he thinks there will always be a “Fonz in everybody’s neighborhood.”
And what does Sorge say of his character? Fonzie is the “cool of cool.” He’s the king of the town. He’s like Danny Zuko, only cooler. However, it doesn’t look like Joey Sorge will be backing down from the pressure any time soon. He has a special relationship with this character. As a child, he imitated the movements and cool actions of “the Fonz,” just like millions of others. Unlike them, he’s living out the dream. Even though he hopes to do some film work in the future, Joey Sorge is content, and enjoying his Happy Days.