Follies opens Friday

Gilligan's Island: The Untold Story

CAN-CAN group in “Hey Look Me Over,” from left: Lily Moore, Lily Jacob, Natasha Muenzer, Amee Dugger, Nova Moore, Sofiya Cron, and Courtney Castaneda.

Photos by Gordon Leigh, Positive Negatives
CAN-CAN group in “Hey Look Me Over,” from left: Lily Moore, Lily Jacob, Natasha Muenzer, Amee Dugger, Nova Moore, Sofiya Cron, and Courtney Castaneda.



Yes, there will be a radio made from coconut shells.

Gilligan and the rest of the castaways — and a larger cast of characters — will bring plenty you have seen and plenty you have not from the old TV show when Mid-Columbia Lions Follies presents “Gilligan’s Island, the Untold Story” opening April 6.

Dates are April 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 for the evening shows starting at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance will be on Sunday, April 8 at 2 p.m. All performances in the 42nd annual show will be at the historic Hood River Middle School Auditorium.

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CASTAWAYS Bob Fox, left, Kim Vogel, DesiRae Lulu Roush, Jeremy Belcher, Jimmie Oates, Dave Tallman, and Amy Moss.

In the 1960s TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” seven folks were stranded after a storm at sea marooned them on a deserted island. Writers Mike Oates (castaway stories) and Terri Tyler (Honolulu back story) put their heads together for this year’s production, an annual revue involving songs and sketches performed by local residents and some out-of-town guest performers.

Jimmie Oates plays the lead role as Gilligan. Dave Tallman is the Skipper; Bob Fox and Kim Vogel are the billionaires, the Howells. The Castaways are completed with DesiRae Lulu Roush playing Ginger, Amy Moss as Mary Ann and Jeremy Belcher as the Professor.

Directors of the show are the long-involved Bev Bridgewater and Vogel.

“The hard part is bringing two distance parts together; the casts rehearsed separately, and it was not until this week we all rehearsed together, and part of the challenge is people meeting each other,” Vogel said.

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Newsboy Justin Fox announces disappearance of the U.S.S. Minnow.

The lineup of songs includes plenty of Jimmy Buffett, since this is a tropical island story. They include “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “Lime in the Coconut,” “Southern Cross” (featuring Dave Tallman) and “Fins.”

“All the Parrotheads are invited,” Vogel said.

The cast includes several younger members who are “extremely loyal to the show, and have grown up in Follies,” Vogel explained. They include a couple of third-generation kids including Kristen Fox, Mike Oates’ granddaughter; Lula Roush’s grandson, Anthony Schu; and Sofiya Cron, Bridgewater’s granddaughter.

“We felt very strongly that because the Children’s Park was going to be ADA accessible it was going to a great partnership, and the cast is very excited about it,” Vogel said.

For audiences, Follies will provide multi-generational appeal, according to the directors.

“The TV show only lasted three years, but it has been quite popular in reruns, so is very familiar to most folks,” Bridgewater said.

“Generations who will remember the show can come, and the younger generation will have fun again,” Vogel said.

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Skipper (Dave Tallman)

The Follies has added the “untold story,” which is where the real fun comes in. Who were the folks left behind? What did they do? Due to the creative imagination of writer Terri Tyler, these questions are answered. Mary Ann left her favorite aunts from Kansas behind. The Howells left their children, but no money to support them. The Professor left his associate science teacher and a group of students to carry on his work. With Ginger being gone, this left the door open for all her aspiring actress friends to audition for a multitude of parts in show business. And, of course, the Skipper and Gilligan left Midge Grumby, the Skipper’s wife, and Gilligan’s best friend, Skinny Mulligan. How will these folks survive in the aftermath of that fateful three-hour cruise?

In addition to the key cast, singers Clinton Curtis, Emily Curtis and Onar Smith will appear randomly in the show, much as folks appeared on the remote island. Audience favorites Sarah Fox and Rachel Weatherly are the star wannabees who follow their dreams with varying success — and musical comedy.

Bridgewater said “Follies” is a fast-moving, musical performance that includes local talent of all ages. From the frogs performing to “At the Hop” to a few Jimmy Buffet songs, there is something for everyone. Folks will even find a couple of country songs, island style.

Megan Perkins is vocal director and Annette Wahner is choreographer. Caryn and Hallie Chilton have designed and painted the sets for the show. Weatherly, as the costumer, and Alice Pierson, as the cosmetologist, bring the characters to life. Cindy Winfield is once again the stage manager who makes everything work backstage, and Ken Jacobs provides light and sound for the performers.

For further information or to inquire about tickets or making a donation, please contact Trudy Tallman at 541-386-2763 or tallmantru@gmail.com.

Vogel plays millionaire “Lovey” Howell, and she offered the solution to one of the chief riddles of the TV show’s three-year run: How was it possible that, years after the group was marooned, the Howells still had bottles of “bubbly” to break out for special occasions?

“The Howells, if they couldn’t go first class didn’t go at all, and Thurston, who is always prepared, never travels without the complete appurtenances of his class. We would always carry bubbly because we would always enjoy it on the tour,” Vogel/Lovey explained.

Follies benefits Sight-Hearing Foundation and Children’s Park

Follies is an annual fundraiser for Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation (OLSHF). This year, 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the Hood River Children’s Park.

“The Lions are pleased to up their game in fundraising by adding this important local community need,” co-director Bev Bridgewater said.

Donations will be taken at the door as well as several levels of larger donations, should folks want to provide a higher level of support. Gilligan’s show t-shirts will also be available for purchase.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for children ages 12 and under. Attendees can save $1 by purchasing in advance at one of the ticket outlets. Tickets are available from Studio 10 Salon, Waucoma Books, Windmaster Market, Mid Valley Market, Jim’s Market, Columbia State Bank, Key Bank, Hood River Adult Center, Postal Annex, Tallman Ladders, Klindt’s Bookstore and from any Lions club member.



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