Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gilligan's Island, the Musical

See the musical GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and make a contribution to a good cause

Are you a 'GILLIGAN'S ISLAND' fan? If so, you will definitely want to see the hilarious musical based on that iconic television show. And, even if you aren't a devote of Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger and the Professor, you'll be contributing to a good cause when you attend one of two local special fundraising showings.
In a spirit of helping the community, Cleveland's actors will be presenting their ninth annual event to raise money for the Community Aids Network and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.

"GILLIGAN'S ISLAND: THE MUSICAL" which was written by Sherwood and Lloyd J. Schwartz, has music by Hope and Laurence Juber. The plot involves the discovery of some hieroglyphics on the island, describing a visit from "creatures from the sky." While the castaways are working to build a rocket to launch an SOS message to civilization, one of the creatures -- a silver space alien -- makes a return trip to the island to observe the inhabitants. (Hey, what can you expect, this is the goofy fun cult Gilligan's Island stuff?)

The show begins with the theme song, which has been selected the #1 TV theme song of all time. Remember, ““Five passengers set sail that day/For a three hour tour….a three hour tour….” I defy you to sit there and not sing along. In fact, singing along at the performance is encouraged. Other songs are “Goodbye Island,” “The Professor's Lament,” “It's Good To Be Rich” and “Though Winds May Blow.”

The musical has received some very positive press. Katie Couric stated, “You've got to love it... Timeless."_ CBS MORNING NEWS stated, “, "A great time... Fabulous!" and PEOPLE MAGAZINE probably summarized it best when it stated, "Love and lust among the coconuts."

The local cast includes Nick Koesters as Gilligan, Kevin Joseph Kelly as The Skipper, Greg Violand as Thurston Howell III, Maryann Nagel as Lovey Howell, Tricia Bestic as Ginger Grant, Brian Bowers as The Professor, Eileen Burns as Mary Ann and Patrick Ciamacco as The Alien. The epic is directed by Curt Arnold with choreography by Allison Butler. The musicians are Gregory Cross, Tim Keo, Karen Langenwalter, and Phil Miller, under the leadership of musical director Butch Marshall. All performers and technicians are donating their time, services and materials, so that 100% of the ticket price is a donation.

Side bar: I have an iconic connection to Gilligan's Island. Years ago, while I was the public relations director at the Cherry County Playhouse, in Traverse City, Michigan, Natalie Shaefer, who portrayed Lovey Howell on the television show, came to star in a production. As a gimmick, I found there was an island, just off the city's shores, which was unnamed. I got a boat, which of course we named the Minnow, took out a TV crew, and with the permission of the state department of the interior, Shaefer officially dedicated and named the slip of land, “Gilligan's Island.” To this day, the maritime map of Grand Traverse Bay designates the area with its anointed moniker. Hey, maybe we can find an unnamed island in Lake Erie and do the same thing here. What a tourist attraction that would make.