19 Dec 2013
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Amy Anzel: Happy Days the Musical

HAPPY-DAYS-dinerEvery day is a happy when you are hanging out with the infectiously jolly Amy Anzel, the powerhouse of a woman who blazed onto our screens in the Channel 4 documentary, The Sound of Musicals.

On our small screens we saw Amy battle the many perils of putting up a new show as she strove to make Happy Days the Musical happen in the UK. After countless struggles, including having her director Craig Revel Horwood quit mid rehearsal, Amy is finally ready to premier the show in London in January 2014.

We found Amy to be a massive inspiration, so we decided to catch up with her at a Happy Days rehearsal at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, where the show will make it’s UK debut. We managed to talk to Amy about her lovely cast, the “Craig” issue and why she is as homophobic as a rainbow! Check out our video below to reveal all!

More Questions with Amy

So what was do you think people’s problem was with the “Strip Away the Gay” comment?

Well John Barrowman didn’t help! It is a fair comment. The show is set in 1950’s America when the characters would not have been openly gay, which would be reflected in how they acted.

Amy with costumeTell us more about how you work with the creative team behind Happy Days?

[Director] Andrew and I are always on the same page. It’s so nice. That’s where other shows go wrong. Us two and Tom Rodgers our designer…we are always on the same page! We work closely together and I think that is what makes a show a success.
Craig didn’t really want me in the audition room or the rehearsal room…But I thought I know exactly what Gary Marshall had in mind for everything. I thought I should be there giving my input. So I am glad Craig fell off and I found Andrew.

It sounds like it has worked out for the best.

Yes! And from what he told me he doesn’t like to do any preparation before he starts rehearsals. He said “I like to have a really organic rehearsal process and just let things happen.” I thought that sounded a little lazy. It made me nervous. It’s nice as Andrew and I are both so passionate about the show. It’s my producing debut his directorial debut. He it want’s to get thing done properly. I think this will be the beginning of a long relationship.

So you were involved with Happy Days the Musical in the US…

Yeah! I was in the initial workshops in 2004 and 2005, so I’ve been involved with show for ten years!

You raised the money for the show from a kind of crowd funding?

Seedrs! It’s great. My co-producer said “so many people know and love Happy Days, why not give the people the chance to get involved on a smaller level.” So people would give like £10 or £20. So it’s like we have 345 Ambassadors for the show around the country! They write to me all the time! A lot of them ask for leaflets to put in their office and ask me what is happening with the show! It’s like we have an army of press people. I love it. We appreciate everyone and really feel the support.

Do you have your sights anything beyond Happy Days the Musical?

God no! This is it! If this goes into the West End then it is everything for me! This really is everything. I don’t want to take my finger off the pulse. The show is touring. I will go to every venue and see every first and second night.

Exclusive Rehearsal Shots

We were lucky enough to be invited to watch an exclusive rehearsal of Happy Days, which gave us a sneaky peak into the fabulous world that will hit our stages in the New Year. Trust us when we say Americana will be out in force! There were jumps, jazz arms and revolving diner tables. Yes! Check out a couple of action snaps from a Happy Days show number!

rehearsal shots Happy Days

Happy days the musical rehearsal ot size

It was a fantastic experience seeing Happy Days come together and chatting to Amy about her journey with the show! We can’t wait to see it in the New Year!

Visit the Happy Days website for details on the tour!

Rebecca

About the Author

Rebecca is a cheeky London lady with a love of theatre, cheese and wine (preferably all at the same time!) She graduated from Goldsmiths (University of London) with a First Class Honours degree in Drama and Theatre Arts and later went on to study for an NCTJ postgraduate diploma in Journalism.

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