‘Gilligan’ Goes On

It was the West Coast premiere of the play “Rockers,” which he wrote 13 years ago. It was also a celebration of his 90th birthday. And Sherwood Schwartz told me about a new play for which he’d just gotten the inspiration for its third act — set in the Red Skelton tv comedy show he was writing in 1961. He also  told me of the Jan. 19, 2007  bow of his “Giligan’s Island – The Musical” at the  Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West, Florida. Two of its stars are Dawn Wells, the original “Mary Anne,” who now plays “Mrs. Thurston Howell III,”  and Barry Williams — who was “Greg Brady” on “Brady Bunch,” — now playing  “Mr. Howell,” the role made famous by Jim Backus.

“Rockers,” playing at Theatre West, which was written by Schwartz and produced by his son Lloyd and Bonnie Kalisher Dukes, is directed by  Marcia Rodd. The cast stars Elsa Raven, Pat Crawford Brown,  Lee Meriwether, Matthew Hoffman, Arden Teresa Lewis, Jack Kutcher and George Spelvin. The joyous opening night was a fundraising party for the theater and an appropriate birthday cake and chorus gifted the prolific Sherwood. But, he admitted, “Of all the things I ever wrote was the telegram I sent Mildred on Dec.6, 1941. I was in Hollywood writing radio and she was in N.Y. I said, ‘Come on out and let’s get married’.” She did. They will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversay Dec. 23.

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