Considered wholesome, sweet and all-American-pretty with a touch of quirky charm, Cindy Williams is known and loved as Shirley Feeney from the 1950s-set, 1970s sitcom Laverne And Shirley. She also starred in a couple of ultra important films like the American sock-hop classic American Graffiti — which co-starred Ron Howard and Harrison Ford — and The Conversation starring Gene Hackman.
These days the 67-year-old actor is lending her star power to Menopause The Musical, in town at the Straz this Wednesday.
The musical is now in its 13th year of production world-wide, produced by GFour Productions. One selling point for Williams — the production company has donated a portion of the show's revenues to The Susan G Komen Foundation.
Jeanie Linders penned the musical's book and script to provide laughter during the most reviled, ridiculed, painful and stressful rites of passage in a women's life.
Williams had a quick moment for a few questions during CL's mad dash for Summer Guide last week ...
CL: When you appeared in American Graffiti (one of my favorite films) did you have any idea of what an influential movie it would be?
CW: I had no idea how popular it would be. None of us did.
Did you have a crush on Harrison Ford like we movie viewers did when we saw it?
I always thought of Harrison like a magical, mischievous first cousin.
In Menopause the Musical, what jokes or numbers do you relate to most as a woman?
There's a tiny scene in which I can't remember too much of anything, I relate especially well personally to this, and the last number in the show "New Attitude" is especially relatable for everyone. The audience seems to always have a great response to it.
What is your favorite Laverne and Shirley episode and why?
"Guinea Pigs" — the plot was so much fun: Laverne and Shirley need to come up with $20 each to attend a fancy cocktail party. Lenny and Squiggy let them in on their own personal little gold mine: an experimental laboratory that hires human guinea pigs. Laverne ends up in an experiment of no sleeping for 72 hours. And Shirley ends up in an experiment of no eating for 72 hours. By the time they get to the party they are both so out of sorts that they are mistaken for hookers. I loved the physicality in this show.
The play runs at the Straz Center's Ferguson Hall Wed., June 3, through Sun. June 7; tickets are $48.50-$68.50; strazcenter.org.