On stage: Happy Days Are Here Again beautiful message of hope and strength- and laughter in New Year jukebox musical – December 2021 to January 2022 at The Playhouse, Somerset West

What: Happy Days Are Here Again – New Year jukebox musical

When: December 29, 30, 31, 2021 and January 5, 6, 8, 2022 at 7.30pm. There is a matinee on Jan 8, 2022

Where: The Playhouse, Somerset West
Duration: 90 minutes
Tickets: R120
Booking: Computicket https://tickets.computicket.com/event/happy_days_are_here_again/7176694
Age advisory: No under 16s
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlayhouseSW    

Feel-good musical to celebrate the New Year

The Playhouse, Somerset West, is wrapping up the year of 2021, by serenading the new year of 2022, with a feel-good musical: Happy Days Are Here Again. Hopefully, happy days; fabulously joyful days, will be here for 2022 and this is an opportunity to get into the swing of the festive season with this comedic new jukebox musical [a compilation of songs from musicals], which will be on stage at the Playhouse from Wednesday December 29. There is a show on Thursday December 30 and on New Year’s Eve- Friday December 31. As the team quips- why sit at home on New Year’s Eve, alone, when you can have a jol with an upbeat musical, laced with comedy. The show takes a break on New Year’s Day and resumes on Wednesday January 5, Thursday January 6; Friday January 7 and Saturday January 8- at 7.30pm. On January 8, 2022, there is a matinee as well as an evening show. 

Beautiful message of hope and strength- and laughter

Happy Days Are Here Again features three Playhouse directors- Darryl Spijkers, Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum and Bryoni Currin. In addition to performing, they are also directing. Spijkers enthuses: “The show was inspired by the need for feel good entertainment. Happy Days Are Here Again, is inspired by the 1929 song of the same name and carries a beautiful message of hope and strength. It has been such a joy to join forces with passionate performers and put together a show that’s going to put many much needed smiles on people’s faces.” [Happy Days Are Here Again – music by Milton Ager and lyrics by Jack Yellen.]

Cast of ten

The three leads will be accompanied by seven other performers, making this a company of ten. Audiences can expect a “fun-filled romp of comedy and pizzazz complete with two fab drag queens”, says Darryl Spijkers who plays Belinda Boutique. The show is set on old New Year’s Eve. Spijkers explains: “Belinda is a single Jewish woman who lives for her cat and dog, her sewing machine and many cups of coffee. She owns a rundown costume shop in the small town of Bonnievale and is battling to make ends meet.” For companionship, she has a “troupe of crazy mannequins that she has dressed and named. When an accomplished high flying artist, Scrumpy Holly (Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum) arrives for help with a special costume, they reflect on the good times they shared and muse about everything- from love to Covid – all this on old year’s eve.”

No under 16s as there is saucy language. “It is sentimental and sassy, but this musical does make use of innuendo and choice language- perfect for parties of friends who can enjoy a drink while you laugh out loud.” The show includes foot-tapping songs from musicals such as Waitress, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hercules, The Prom, Sunset Boulevard, Rent and Funny Girl.

Darryl Spijkers and Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum have performed together on numerous occasions. They recently dazzled audiences in Cinderella, the panto and The Ugly Sister’s Act. From 2004, Spijkers directed many productions at the Playhouse- such as Blood Brothers, The Wizard of Oz and Grease. Together, Spijkers and Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum have collaborated and staged acclaimed musicals, such as Annie, Annie Get Your Gun, Joseph and Shrek.

During 2021, despite lockdown and the challenges of the pandemic, they continued to stage work at the Playhouse. They are teachers. Spijkers is a drama teacher and Ruschenbaum is a Life Sciences teacher. They are passionate about community theatre and combine that with their day jobs.   Mark this on the theatre diary: In 2022, Ruschenbaum will be directing The Sound of Music. More to follow. Check back for news of other shows.

Arrive early for check-in and pre-show drink

Happy Days Are Here Again is live on stage and in line with Covid protocols, seats will be spaced out and patrons will be seated in bubbles. Please don’t forget your masks and arrive early for Covid check-ins and a tipple at the well-stocked Playhouse bar. It is a fun way to say ‘bye’ to 2020 and get into good spirits with this musical which is loaded with laughs. Follow the Playhouse on Facebook and Instagram for updates.   

Happy Days Are Here Again: Belinda Boutique (performed by Darryl Spijkers) in the jukebox musical at The Playhouse, Somerset West, Dec 2021-Jan 2022.
Playhouse Theatre Somerset West

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlayhouseSW
Instagram: @playhouse_theatre_sw
Playhouse website: https://www.theplayhouse.org.za/
Info: 0826789077        

Celebrating the happy: Belinda Boutique (Darryl Spijkers) and Scrumpy Holly (Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum) who are “up to no good” in Happy Days Are Here Again, the jukebox musical at The Playhouse, Somerset West, Dec 2021-Jan 2022.
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Darryl Spijkers, Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum, Bryoni Currin, Luke Botha, Zanodean Cassiem, Ninke Theron, Andrew Goldie, Cath Goldie Andrea Martinez and Sashka Peterson

Creative team

Directors: Darryl Spijkers, Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum and Bryoni Currin
Set design: Zanodean Cassiem
Lighting design: Lathum van Rooyen

✳Images supplied. Featured image: Belinda B (Belinda Boutique- played by Darryl Spijkers) and Scrumpy Holly (Jon-Paul Ruschenbaum) who are “up to no good”. Sponsored content.