'Gilligan's Island: the Musical, take intellectual vacation
Do not let reality intrude on your enjoyment
of Rover Dramawerks latest production, "Gilligan's Island: the Musical."
It would only make things difficult. Also, do not search for the deep drama or
layers of meaning that Rover Dramawerks has become known for. There are none.
The group has taken a break from all that, and this time out it should
be re-christened Rover Comedywerks.
Step on board the S.S. Minnow and take
a tour to laugh-again island. Coby Cathey plays the title character. Away from
the island he is a high school science teacher, the same way the Professor earned
a living before being stranded on the island. Right there might be a Rover layer
of meaning, but oh well - reality intrudes, sort of.Cathey mugs, clowns, and slapsticks
his way through the show with a childlike abandonment of self-consciousness. He
also makes the child-man Gilligan fun to watch. If his students are not getting
extra credit to come see their science teacher play the fool, they should come
see the show anyway. They will get an excellent introduction to comedy performance
for the theatre.
Michael McNeil as the Skipper is another hoot. He and
Cathey perform a bunch of the show's funny stuff. All the stage business with
hammocks verges on comedy ballet, but only verges. Mostly what they do is just
Donald C. Cook and Nancy Lamb as Thurston Howell, III
and Lovey Howell are a tribute to what the rich senior set wears when marooned
on an island. They also dance and sing with panache.
Mary Ann is the wholesome
farm girl from Kansas who inspires some very unwholesome thoughts in audience
members, but not in any of the male characters in the cast. But if she did that
would make things extremely difficult on the island...oh dear, reality again.
Heather McCormick plays Mary Ann with just the right combination of health and
The movie star Ginger Grant does inspire some lustful thoughts
in the male castaways, but she has to work at it. Heather Hill as Ginger does
some very interesting things with a kiss and a feather boa.
as the Professor can build anything, but a raft it seems. His patter song about
education is a highlight of the tour. Watch for that.
Zachary Haber plays
a headhunter and an alien, or maybe a schizophrenic alien. It was hard to tell.
He adds to the comedy value of the show.
Everyone in the cast sings well,
although in the first act it seemed like the band overpowered them. The band is
very much a character in the show, adding musical punctuation to much of the action.
your disbelief in the closet at home, give your cerebrum the night off, and come
see "Gilligan's Island: the Musical." The show is playing at the Cox
Building Playhouse in Plano through June 28.