Dawn Wells and Tina Louise are the last survivors of the fateful three-hour tour of the S.S. Minnow, a saga that captured the nation five decades ago. It is perhaps fitting, because of all the mystery surrounding the shipwreck, they are at the center of its most vexing question.
The “Gilligan’s Island” actress, in town for the Three Hour Tour with Dawn Wells at the annual Hukilau festival in Fort Lauderdale this weekend, fully expects the inquiry to continue during this appearance. The question: Mary Ann or Ginger?
“I’ve had more marriage proposals this year than I’ve had in my whole life,” Wells says, laughing, acknowledging that most are from men who would have been 13 or 14 years old when “Gilligan’s Island” premiered in 1964 (a continues to air in syndication). “I had one man say, ‘I asked my wife if I could ask you on a date, and she said it was OK.'”
Which goes to the crux of the Mary Ann or Ginger question. Sure it was a statement about who you’d most like to roll in the sand with, but it was also referendum on values. Ginger (Tina Louise) was exotically and obviously sexy, often draped in a clingy gown, with a Marilyn Monroe-like neediness. Wells' Mary Ann was the girl next door in pigtails and cut-offs (who happened to be played by a former Miss Nevada).
“They’d always say, ‘I’d date Ginger, but marry Mary Ann,’” Wells says cheerily into the phone from Los Angeles. “[Mary Ann] was a moral compass. She would help. She was a worker, too. She wasn’t selfish. She would have gone to the prom with you. She wouldn’t have cheated on you if she was your wife. I really think she was the rudder [of Gilligan’s Island].”
Wells explores the metaphor further in “What Would Mary Ann Do?: A Guide to Life,” a book she published last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Gilligan’s Island” (info: DawnWells.com).
The actress, 76, is plenty busy these days, having just finished a run in the Nora and Delia Ephron play “Love, Loss and What I Wore” at the Laguna Playhouse near her home in Los Angeles. She also just finished a pilot for an irreverent TV series titled “Life Interrupted,” which includes a who’s-who of 1970s faces, including Mason Reese, Michael Learned, Alison Arngrim, Erin Murphy and Brandon Cruz.
Wells, who studied to be a pediatric surgeon, runs a foundation that helped create a children’s museum in her hometown of Reno, Nev., and Wishing Wells Collections, a clothing line for disabled people. She also helped create an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.
While she once had a house in the Tampa area, this will be Wells' first trip to Fort Lauderdale and, surprisingly, the first time she has been asked to take a three-hour tour.
“I think it’s a hoot that people are going to get on a boat with me. You’ve got to be nuts,” she says, laughing. “I’m excited about it.”
The Hukilau, now in its 14th year, is a celebration of the retro rumminess of Polynesian-splashed tiki culture in all its manifestations, with seminars and less formal gatherings focused on everything from the nostalgic architecture and design to the hipster fashion and dangerous drinks, all set to a soundtrack of even more dangerous bands.
The Three Hour Tour with Dawn Wells is noon-4 p.m. Friday, with the Lady Windridge yacht leaving the Pier 66 Marina at 12:30 p.m. and returning at 3:30 p.m. The sailing includes food and cocktails. Cost: $99 with Hukilau pass, $149 without.
Events continue through Sunday at the Mai Kai (3599 N. Federal Highway) and the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 (2301 SE 17th St.) and the Wreck Bar at B Ocean Fort Lauderdale (1140 Seabreeze Blvd.).
If you are just looking to dip a toe into the festival, consider the Hukilau Main Event on Friday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., which organizers call just “another night of exotica, rockabilly, titillating tassels and a big group of gorillas in space suits.” Taking place in the Panorama Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, the evening include performances by Kinky Waikiki, Slip and the Spinouts, local burlesque beauty Lila Starlet, the Alika Lyman Group, the Disasternauts and more. Tickets: $65. Info: TheHukilau.com.
The 40th anniversary of “Jaws” will be celebrated with screenings of remastered versions of the Steven Spielberg thriller at 2 and 7 p.m. June 21 and June 24 in theaters from Royal Palm Beach to Miami Beach. The Fathom Events screenings come with a specially produced introduction from Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz. Tickets are on sale now at FathomEvents.com.
The water-borne wackiness of the New River Raft Race, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale, returns to downtown’s Esplanade Park on Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m., and the annual conundrum for those unassociated with the participants is who to root for (betting, we have learned, frowned upon). We’re putting our money, uh, hopes on the gents from LauderAle because they’re just great guys, fine community stewards, and not because they are bringing a bunch of Therapy Session IPA with them. Remember, food and beer (water and soda for young buccaneers) at the after party at Esplanade Park after the “race.” Info: NewRiverRaftRace.com, Facebook.com/Lauderale.
TAKE THE KIDS
The fledgling Boca Raton F.C., winners of three straight matches, is offering a deal for the final home game of its inaugural season on Saturday: A free hotdog and soda. The game against the always dangerous Estudiantes Del Guayas is at 6 p.m. at Boca Raton High School (1501 NW 15th Court). To get the deal, buy a ticket ($5) using the promo code HOTDOG at BocaRatonFC.com.
WHAT DOES BROWARD TASTE LIKE?
Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor on Tuesday will reveal the new flavor honoring Broward County ‘s 100th birthday by giving free samples to visitors at the Dania Beach restaurant (128 S. Federal Highway) from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is the culmination of a weeks-long Facebook contest that drew more than 200 ideas that were evaluated by a team of reviewers at Jaxson’s. Get more info on the Jaxson’s Ice Cream Facebook page.
BILL IS DUE
We are five months from the presidential election, so it may be time to do some research on the 78 candidates roaming around out there. Or we can get the breakdown from Bill Maher Saturday night in West Palm Beach at the Kravis Center. Tickets ($35-$119) at Kravis.org.
DEL REY OF SUNSHINE
Lana Del Rey comes to the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on Tuesday at the top of whatever game she is playing. In a review of her recent appearance at the fifth annual Governors Ball festival in New York, the New York Times’ Jon Pareles found Del Rey “languidly crooning about desire and pain as thousands of fans sang along. Songs that purr smoothly and steadily on her albums became tempestuous, at least with the band, and featured piercing guitar lines and eruptions of drums, magnifying the warring impulses that Ms. Del Rey’s serenity conceals.” Tickets for her Coral Sky show, with Grimes opening, are $19-$73.50 at LiveNation.com.
TICK, TICK, TICK
We are just about a week away from the two-day music festival known as Lauderdale Live, which brings performances by O.A.R., Phillip Phillips, Sister Hazel, Dumpstaphunk, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Kris Allen, Ben Rector, Luke Wade, Beverly McClellan and Emily Kopp to Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale on June 20-21. Advance tickets are on sale now: $39.50, $69.50 for a two-day pass, with various VIP packages, which include admission to June 19 pre-festival performances, also available at LauderdaleLiveMusic.com.
KIRILL ME NOW
Because you need to know these things: The frisky Thompson Miami Beach (4041 Collins Ave.) on Saturday will offer its new summer pool party called the Neon or Nothing Night Swim, highlighted with an appearance by Kirill, the photographer specializing in the hedonistic New York City party-scene that fuels the Showtime reality series “3 AM,” on which he has a central role. The invitation to the party urges you to “wear your best neon swim suit or attire,” but comes with a disclaimer: “Dress responsibly.” To which Kirill says, “What?” Info/RSVP: EventsTMB@ThompsonHotels.com, ThompsonMiamiBeach.com.
OYSTERS AND BEER
G&B Oyster Bar on Fort Lauderdale beach (429 Seabreeze Blvd.), will join forces with Wynwood Brewing Co. for “a night of seafood, art and beer” on Wednesday night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. It’s four courses, five if you count the socializing snacks served with the Rickenbocker Pilsner to start the show. Tickets ($75): GandBOysterbar.com, WynwoodBrewing.com.
The free street festival known as the Night Owl Market will make its bi-annual return to Flagler Village in downtown Fort Lauderdale on June 20, an ambitious evening dedicated to the furtherance of “arts, community, sustainability and small business” … and free beer, food trucks and local bands, if you’re into that sort of thing. Among the bands confirmed is a favorite, Rivers. NOM happens 5-11 p.m. on Northeast Third Avenue, between Fifth and Seventh Streets, and Peter Feldman Park (301 NE Sixth St.). Free shuttle parking will be available. Info: FlaglerNOM.com.
FACE TO FACE
Saturday will bring the installation of Inside Out Downtown Hollywood, a mural featuring nearly 80 black-and-white portraits of creative scene shapers in the city, part of a global photography art project and the local salute to Broward County's centennial. The pictures, measuring 36 inches by 53 inches, will be pasted on multiple walls of a two-story building at 1740 S. Young Circle, across the street from the ArtsPark at Young Circle and close to the 15 distinctively reimagined walls in the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project. Saturday’s installation occurs in conjunction with the opening of “Wayne White: Art is Supposed to Hypnotize You or Something” exhibit at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St.). Info: ArtAndCultureCenter.org. Meanwhile, the Broward County Main Library is creating its own Inside Out mural, and will take portraits noon-3 p.m. Tuesday at the library (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). It’s first-come, first-served. The pictures will be displayed on the first floor of the library later in the summer. Info: Broward100.org.
CEY ADAMS AT REDEYE
News came this week that the 10th edition of RedEye, the annual art-music-film happening at ArtServe (1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) will include the work of the influential Cey Adams, The New York-based graphic designer and founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings will bring his new "Trusted Brands" series to RedEye, which runs July 6-Aug. 14. The artist call is going on now, with pre-registration through June 26, with art intake on June 27. The highly anticipated RedEye party, a night of live art, bands, DJs, food trucks and films, is July 25. More info: ArtServe.org.
GIRLS ON WHEELS
Reminder: Beach Brawl 2015, hosted by Fort Lauderdale's Gold Coast Derby Grrls, will bring more than 600 roller-derby competitors from around the world to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center Friday-Sunday. Along with the hometown Grrls and the Dub City Derby Girls from West Palm Beach, you’ll find teams from Scandinavia, Australia, South America and elsewhere. Tickets are $15, $35 for a three-day pass, at BeachBrawl2015.com.
BOX OF ROCK
Candlebox (“Far Behind” and “You”) and Saliva (“Ladies and Gentlemen” and “Always”), two nationally touring rock bands who could be paying the bills somewhere else, will donate their time and music at Revolution Live Saturday night to help the Peanut Butter & Jelly Project and its efforts to help Fort Lauderdale’s homeless, especially homeless veterans. Tickets to the fundraiser are $35 advance, $40 day of show, at the Revolution box office (100 SW Third Ave.; 954-449-1025), as well as LiveNation.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. VIP and meet-and-greet packages also available, and there is a long list of impressive auction items, including a guitar signed by the Rolling Stones and a basketball signed by the 2012-2013 NBA champion Miami Heat. Info: Facebook.com/PBAndJProject, JoinTheRevolution.net.
LOOPING YOU IN
The social circuit known as the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop returns June 20, with advance discount tickets through Saturday (June 13) for $25 (they go to $30 after that, and $35 cash at check-in). The Loop offers free trolley rides and a free drink/app at each stop (Bimini Boatyard, Southport Raw Bar, Quarterdeck, Waxy O'Connor's, Burger Fi, Cold Stone Creamery, Bahia Cabana, Blondie's, Cafe Del Mar and Lulu's Bait Shack) from 6 to 11 p.m., with proceeds going to five worthy local charities. Info: 954-574-6000, BusLoop.org.
SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS
To all the denizens and the cubicled of downtown Fort Lauderdale, this is your invitation to join Cadence Living and Mockingbird Trail for a laidback lunch at Peter Feldman Park on Thursday (June 18) to celebrate International Picnic Day. Pack a lunch, fold a blanket and join your fellow downtowners from noon to 2 p.m. There will be frozen desserts, with all proceeds going to the fabrication of Valeria Yamamoto's sculpture for the Mockingbird Trail through Flagler Village. More info here.