Henry Winkler to Star as Hook in London Peter Pan Panto

Henry Winkler, the "Happy Days" star who last appeared on Broadway in The Dinner Party, has taken on the role of swashbuckling villain Captain Hook in a London holiday pantomime of Peter Pan.  The production will open at the New Wimbledon Theatre on December 8th, 2006 and run through January 14th, 2007, according to Whatsonstage.com.

"Baywatch" and Jekyll & Hyde star David Hasselhoff was originally to have played Hook, but due to another commitment, withdrew from the production a few months ago.  Peter Pan will also star comedian Bobby Davro as Smee and BBC children's show host Sarah-Jane Honeywell as Peter.  It will be produced by First Family Entertainment.

"I am over the moon! There will be 40 people on that stage, singing, dancing and creating great comedy. So I want you all to leave your dinner tables early and get to the theatre. If you don't come, I'll come and get you! I want you to bring your grandmother and kids and friends. I understand that there will be hissing and booing - that's a tradition. Well, I'm telling you right now: if I am booed, I will come down to the footlights and take names. But I promise you, I will be dastardly. That's for sure," stated Winkler.

A holiday tradition in Britain, the colorful pantomime features spectacular sets and costumes as well as such conventions as the dame--a man playing a matronly female character. J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan has inspired many other films and plays in addition to the pantomime--including the famous musical version by Moose Charlap, Carolyn Leigh, Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green that has starred Mary Martin, Cathy Rigby and others.

Winkler, who has appeared on Broadway in The Dinner Party and 42 Seconds from Broadway, is best known for playing Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on "Happy Days."  His many other film and TV credits include The King of Central Park, Holes, Down to You, The Waterboy, Night Shift, Heroes, "Out of Practice," "Arrested Development," "The Practice" and "Third Watch."

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