Garry Marshall Theatre 3rd Annual Founder's Gala Honors Original HAPPY DAYS Cast
Eden Espinosa.Garry Marshall Theatre CEO Kathleen Marshall said, "Every year we are so appreciative of the support we receive from all parts of the entertainment community. This year we are especially thankful to the cast of Happy Days, who have been so supportive of our theatre since we first opened our doors 22 years ago." The evening will celebrate Mr. Marshall's theatre that he privately built in 1997 and funded for the following 20 years. The Hollywood legend was known for creating hit television shows and films including Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, The Odd Couple, Beaches, Overboard, The Flamingo Kid, The Other Sister, Frankie & Johnny, Runaway Bride, Georgia Rule, The Princess Diaries and Pretty Woman. A new Broadway musical of Pretty Woman is now running in Germany and will open in London early 2020. Marshall himself was a fanatic for live theatre and live entertainment and with Garry Marshall Theatre (opened as the Falcon Theatre), and his career as a director and creator, he brought both of his screen and stage worlds to life. Over eleven seasons and 255 episodes, Happy Days (1974-1984) was one of the most successful series in television history and highly influential to the culture of television of its time. It began as a pilot with Ron Howard, Marion Ross and Anson Williams that aired on the ABC anthology series Love American Style. Based on this pilot, director George Lucas cast Howard in American Graffiti, which lead to ABC looking at the pilot as a series about a Midwest teenager (Howard), his family and friends. During the second season Marshall spotlighted a minor character - Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler and soon after Happy Days was the number one program on television. It was so popular that characters introduced by Happy Days spun into their own series - Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. Kathleen Marshall continued, "The original cast's connection with my dad, Garry, and their first-hand knowledge of his passion for community is unparalleled. We are proud and honored to be celebrating these 'greats' and how they and Happy Days have entertained the lives of the world over. The Founder's Gala serves as an annual reminder that it takes a village to bring quality live arts to life and that a legacy is shaped and made possible by many."Eden Espinosa is most recognized for her critically acclaimed portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway, in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her other credits include originating the title character in Brooklyn the Musical, Flora in Flora the Red Menace, and Maureen in the closing company of Rent on Broadway. Eden also originated the role of Sadie Thompson in the world premiere of Rain, at The Old Globe Theater. She portrayed Eva Peron in TPAC and Studio Tenn's production of Evita. In 2017 she toured Denmark and London playing Emma Borden in the rock musical Lizzie. She played Mary Flynn to rave reviews in Maria Freidman's productions of Merrily We Roll Along at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. Eden was Daniela in Kennedy Center's In The Heights. Also portrayed Anita in West Side Story for the BBC PROMS at the Royal Albert Hall. Most recently she originated the role of Tamara De Lempicka in the world premiere of Lempicka at Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Rachel Chavkin. Her second album of original music, Revelation, was released in January 2019. Garry Marshall generously funded his theatre for twenty years. It was his plan that when he was no longer the sole underwriter, that the baton would be passed on to the community to support in the form of a nonprofit theatre. It is with great determination that Barbara Marshall leads the charge in building a legacy of arts and entertainment that her husband spent his life creating. Along side Barbara, the Founder's Gala is chaired by the Board of Directors: Joan Boyett, Jan Breslauer, Esq., Andrea Davis, Heather Hall, Scott Kay, Cathy King and Garry's daughter and theatre producer, Kathleen Marshall. This year's event is co-hosted by Cathy King and Wes Schaefer. The Founder's Gala will support the development of the nonprofit and its work with special emphasis on the marshallARTS Family Series - a wing of the organization focused on youth and educational programming for families, children and the community at large.