Join the quirky castaways on an uncharted desert isle ... in RochesterBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent January 17. 2018 12:23PM
If you go...WHAT: 'Gilligan's Island: The Musical'
WHEN: Show opens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and continues through Feb. 4, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays
WHERE: Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield St.
TICKETS: $16 to $24
INFO: rochesteroperahouse.com; 335-1992
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale ... about seven cast-aways alternately trying to escape their shipwrecked island and build a new life, one coconut and pond frond at a time.
“Gilligan’s Island: The Musical,” based on the TV sitcom created by Sherwood Schwartz, will wash ashore at the Rochester Opera House Friday and make the best of things until Feb. 4.
In the TV version, Bob Denver was the bumbling Gilligan. The Skipper of the shipwrecked SS Minnow was played by Alan Hale Jr., with Dawn Wells as Mary Ann, the country girl-next-door; Tina Louise as the movie bombshell; Russell Johnson as the cerebral Professor; and Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III and Natalie Schafer as his wife, Lovey, a millionaire couple unaccustomed to simple life.
The stars of the Granite State musical say their biggest challenge is bringing the iconic 1960s characters to life, while bringing their own experiences and nuances to the stage.
“People are expecting Bob Denver and the television cast. We are working on their mannerisms and speech patterns while still being ourselves, too,” said Joshua Paul Moore, of Portsmouth, who portrays the good-hearted Gilligan, who is often berated by the Skipper for failed attempts at escaping the deserted island.
Moore started acting at the age of 11. He described the New Hampshire’s theater community as “a little family.”
“I think I have worked with almost everyone here in some capacity,” Moore said of the “Gilligan’s Island” cast.
Katelyn Parker, of Manchester, has been performing on stage since she was 10. She described acting as both her hobby and her happy place.
“If I am having a bad day and I am coming to theater, it’s all OK,” said Parker, who will be portraying Mary Ann. Parker has been working with the show’s director, Kelli Leigh-Ann Connors, to make her character stand out.
“It’s (about) being comedic, but not goofy. She can get lost very easily,” Parker said.
Connors said she loves to work on projects that highlight social issues, but is looking forward to some good old-fashioned family entertainment with this show. She grew up watching the television series.
“It’s fun. It’s relaxing. You decompress your mind,” Connors said. “I hear that theme song, and I am right back in my living room as a child.”
Jamie Bradley, of Portsmouth, plays the Skipper.
If he could say one thing to convince people to set sail for the opera house to see the show, it would be this:
Come for the nostalgia.