TO JULY 2
If getting your audience to feel the same things as the folks onstage is a sign of good theater, then the Landless Theatre Company’s Gilligan’s Island: The Musical is very good theater, indeed. Because there were moments when, like the S.S. Minnow’s feckless castaways, I prayed for rescue. But there were also moments—enough, in fact, to make the one-and-a-half-hour tour worth taking—when I was swept away by the sheer high-spirited silliness of the whole venture. Unless you’ve spent your entire life on an uncharted desert isle, you have watched and (depending on how many bong hits you did) enjoyed Gilligan’s Island. As a result, you’ll find yourself disregarding the nuances of the songs or the dialogue, so mesmerized will you be by the familiar vapidity of the maroonees’ group dynamic—which is hardly altered by the fact that Ginger happens to be a man in drag. Sherwood Schwartz and Lloyd J. Schwartz have bequeathed to us a brand-new episode, and to their credit, it’s just like all the old episodes—just when rescue seems imminent, Gilligan fucks up. One of the hallmarks of inspired shoestring theater is its ability to make a $30 stage budget work in its favor, and here the Landless folks outdo themselves. The alien’s—yes, there’s an alien—costume is a Plan 9– quality work of genius, and the two headhunters who handle “special effects” almost steal the show. The fact that they don’t have any lines doesn’t hurt, either. The show starts at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, to Saturday, July 2, at the District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. $20. (301) 639-5265.