“Gilligan’s Island: The Musical” Full of Fun and Frolic!
The mid 1960’s was a time of hope and sometimes discord. But from 1964 to 1967 the television seduced us with an escape into silliness found in the situation comedy called “Gilligan’s Island” turning a shipwreck into an idyllic dream. The survivors of the SS Minnow have taken a 3-hour tour that ultimately becomes 3 years as they encounter an unexpected hurricane and find themselves surviving on a deserted island with little hope of rescue. Somehow, everything they require to survive is available in some form on the island while nothing they required for rescue can be effective.
The passengers consist of a millionaire and his wife, a movie star, the Professor and MaryAnn while the crew consists of the Skipper and his First Mate. 3rd Act Theatre takes us on a journey with these beloved characters as they present “Gilligan’s Island: The Musical” with music and lyrics by Hope and Laurence Juber and book by Sherwood Schwartz and Lloyd J. Schwartz. The TV show Cfeatured guest appearances but no characters were able to return to civilization and assist the seven survivors in a rescue. This is true for the musical as well; the guest star is an alien. Billie Thrash brilliantly directs this fun show with an excellent cast.
The title character, Gilligan, a lovable but clumsy first mate played in the TV show by Bob Denver is portrayed in the musical by Lucas Schrantz. Schrantz seems to channel Denver in his portrayal, giving Gilligan a familiar and hysterically funny substance as lucky as he is inept. The Skipper in TV land is Alan Hale Jr. and on stage the musical version has Lance Overdorff in the role of the frustrated ships Captain, who truly cares for his little buddy, Gilligan. Thurston Howell III is the millionaire, and this role was originated by Jim Backus with perfect pomposity that is equaled by Doug Carlton in 3rd Act’s production. The role of Lovey Howell, the spoiled wife with a heart of gold delightfully created by Natalie Schafer and recreated with equal skill by Denise Hughes. The knowledgeable professor is Russell Johnson and Jim Clark brings his own brand of know-it-all dullardly brilliance to the role. The movie star with a wardrobe fit for a queen and a face and figure worthy of Helen of Troy perfected by Tina Louise and Thrash found a twin in Abigail Brock who vamps the audience at every turn. A favorite character is MaryAnn, full of sweetness and charm with a face and form just like the girl next door originated by Dawn Wells and reincarnated at 3rd Act by Maddie Wall charmingly. The alien is played with the same realism the original show gave to all its characters—somewhat ridiculously, and amusingly played by Jon-Philip Olson.
The SS Minnow set forth for a 3-hour tour and 3rd Act Theatre takes us on a 2-hour, 15-minute nostalgic tour to a simpler time and is guaranteed to bring a smile to every patron, followed by a laugh, and perhaps a guffaw, or even a snort of delight as the audience can immerse themselves in some well-deserved escapism. Thrash couldn’t have found a more perfect cast and an excellent crew as well. Her direction is inspired and her choreography is excellent. The set is superb and the properties are ideal thanks to the efforts of Don Taylor, Brittany Adkins, Christine Jolly and Mikie Gillmore. Mariann Searle is Music Supervisor and Barbara Berard provided additionally choreography. Marissa Flores stage manages with Syd Cricklin assisting.
While good musicianship is important in any musical a musical comedy is mostCas successful when all the elements of comedy are present and “Gilligan’s Island: The Musical” has that and more!
“Gilligan’s Island: The Musical” runs May 12 through May 28, 2023 at the 3rd Act Theatre in the Shoppes at NorthPark Mall located at 12040 N. May Avenue. For tickets and information visit www.info@3rdActTheatreco.com or call 405-593-8093. Come and laugh with the folks at 3rd Act Theatre, this musical will delight.