There are few shows that have had the staying power of Gilligan’s Island. Though it only lasted for three seasons (1964-1967), the sitcom gained an incredible following from baby boomers and their off-spring via daily reruns. There have also been a number of spin-off projects including two cartoon series (The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan’s Planet), three reunion movies (Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island, and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island), a reality show (The Real Gilligan’s Island), books, comics and much much more.
One of the most unique projects is a stage show entitled Gilligan’s Island: The Musical. Yep, it’s a full-fledged musical comedy based on the castaways. The show is truly a family affair and was written by Gilligan creator Sherwood Schwartz (who also created The Brady Bunch) and his son and longtime collaborator Lloyd. The 22 musical songs were created by Schwartz’s daughter and son-in-law, Hope and Lawrence Juber (who was actually a member of the Paul McCartney group, Wings).
The musical was first produced on stage in North Carolina in 1992 and has been produced many times in theatres across the country. To date, there have been productions in varied places such as Winston-Salem (Maryland), Cincinnati, Scottsdale, Hicksville, Fargo, Alliance, Auburn, Birmingham, San Bernadino, Orlando, Washington D.C., Sacramento and even Brisbane, Australia.
The show is full of original songs and is basically faithful to the usual Gilligan’s Island episode format. It does however seek to answer some of the questions fans have had over the years like: Why does Skipper put up with Gilligan? Why did the Howells bring so many changes of clothes? Why doesn’t The Professor show any interest towards the ladies?
The next production of Gilligan’s Island: The Musical will be seen at the Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West, Florida on January 19th and 20th and then the Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Coral Springs, Florida from February 2nd through the 11th.
The truly interesting thing is that two Sherwood Schwartz series veterans will be part of it. Dawn Wells (the original Mary Ann) will star as Mrs. Eunice Wentworth “Lovey” Howell while Barry Williams (Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch) will star as her millionaire husband, Mr. Thurston Howell, III. A true colliding of the two worlds. Both Wells and Williams are musical comedy veterans so it sounds like a great opportunity. If you’re in the area, order your tickets now!
If you’re not able to take that musical “three-hour tour,” check out our video section. This page of Gilligan’s Island: related clips features short amateur-shot excerpts from the Gilligan musical, the original TV pilot’s opening (featuring three castmembers/characters that were replaced), castaway cameos from other shows, and more.
And of course, don’t miss our TV Series Finale Spotlight: Gilligan’s Island podcast or the articles on the series’ last episode, the reunions, after-series cameos, trivia and more.