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Beloved sitcom Cheers set to return as stage show

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Beloved sitcom Cheers set to return as stage show

Iconic U.S. comedy Cheers is set to return as a stage show later this year (16).

Cheers, which first aired in the U.S. in 1982 and ran for eleven seasons until 1993, was one of America's most popular TV shows throughout much of the 1980s.

Characters from the show, set in a Boston, Massachusetts bar managed by womanising owner Sam Malone, played by Ted Danson, will reunite on the Boston stage in September (16).

The new theatre version, titled Cheers Live on Stage, will be based on the most famous moments of its first season and as well as Sam, will feature his love interest Diane Chambers, downtrodden barfly Norm Peterson, mailman Cliff Clavin and obstinate waitress Carla Tortelli.

Its creator Erik Forrest Jackson drew on multiple viewings of the show's first season for inspiration, but tells the Associated Press that he has put a new spin on his retelling.

"I took season one of Cheers and put it all into a big pot and cooked it up and boiled it down," he explains. "The main through-line is the relationship between Sam and Diane but done in a way so it feels fresh.

"It will ring bells and feel familiar when Carla talks about her crazy offspring, and Norm moans about not being able to get a job, and Cliff drops another one of his little known 'facts.'"

The show, which will initially run from 9 to 18 September (16) at the city's Citi Shubert Theatre, will also see ten pre-selected audience members appear on stage each night as patrons of the bar.

None of the original cast, who as well as Ted included Rhea Perlman, who played Carla, Shelley Long, who starred as Diane, and George Wendt, who featured as Norm, are scheduled to appear. Casting announcements are yet to be made.

As it is set during the first season, Erik's stage adaptation will not feature characters that only arrived in later seasons.

These include Rebecca Howe, played by Kirstie Alley in the original TV series and Frasier Crane, the neurotic psychiatrist who was portrayed by Kelsey Grammer in the show and his own spin-off sitcom Frasier.

However its writer hopes that his stage version, which will feature Cheers' famous theme music, will uphold the legacy of a show which won 28 Emmy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards during its run.

"This is almost like a sacred text," he adds. "I can infuse it with new life and energy, but I have to be respectful of the original."

After the show's initial Boston run, Erik and Randy Buck are planning to take Cheers Live on Stage on tour around the U.S.

- Cover Media