Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-11-19
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
DISH: SAVOR Old Crow Smokehouse; Kokopelli DISH: SAVOR

Old Crow 

Smokehouse;

Kokopelli
Chef Tony Scruggs is Old Crow Smokehouse (3506 N. Clark St.; oldcrowsmokehouse.com/). ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

'Gilligan's' Dawn Wells on her Chicago show
NUNN ON ONE
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2011-12-28

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Dawn Wells brightened the castaways as Mary Ann Summers on television's Gilligan's Island. In addition, she has made numerous appearances over the years from Bonanza to Roseanne. For RuPaul's Drag U her character was named Chickadee and schooled by drag queen Raven.

She is currently one of the lead cast members for Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore. We sat down to discuss those three topics and how they tie into her life these days.

Windy City Times: Hello, Dawn. How did you become involved with this show?

Dawn Wells: This is interesting because I have never done this in my life. I saw it two years ago on Broadway. I don't know Tyne Daly or Jane Lynch, but they were in it and I went right up, shook their hands and told them that I loved the play. Tyne told me that I should be doing the show. I wrote a letter to Daryl Roth, the producer, and the cast director also. They asked if I would work in the Chicago cast and I said yes because I love Chicago! The director and cast are wonderful so I hope to do it again in New York.

WCT: Are you from New York?

Dawn Wells: L.A.

WCT: Have you met the Ephrons?

Dawn Wells: No, although Karen Carpenter, the original director, came in town to direct.

WCT: How much preparation did you do for the show?

Dawn Wells: Three days...

WCT: Wow, that is fast!

Dawn Wells: Everyone else in the cast had done it before. I was the new one. You are reading but still a lot of them don't even have to look down. It has grown and we have developed it since we have been doing it.

WCT: You have performed in Chicago before?

Dawn Wells: Yes; I did Bus Stop with Dawn Murray directing it at the McCormick Place Playhouse. I did See How They Run and The Vagina Monologues also.

WCT: Let's talk about the three subjects from the show. Do you have a favorite outfit that you wore in the past?

Dawn Wells: How could you not say the short shorts? Would that I could still wear them—I have them, of course! They were the first short shorts on television ever. They couldn't show my navel. "What I wore" really made a difference on television. That is pretty significant.

WCT: That is great that you kept it for all of these years.

Dawn Wells: We were waiting to see if we were picked up for another season. We had all of our scripts and we were cancelled while we were on vacation. Why I took the shorts home I don't know. My mother saves everything and was 94 when I was lost her. She told me she had the shorts and about six months ago I found them. They are just so tiny!

WCT: I think people think that show went on longer than three seasons.

Dawn Wells: Well, because it was 98 episodes; we did 39 episodes a year. You are lucky if you get 20 now. We have never been off the air since 1964 and it is in 30 languages all over the world. There is no time, no cars, no clothes, so some new kids thinks it's happening now.

WCT: Isn't that funny? As far as loss, there are only a few cast members still alive.

Dawn Wells: The professor, Ginger and myself; the first person who passed away was Jim Backus. We were doing something in at Lake Michigan and they were bringing us in with the Coast Guard. It was a rescue PR thing. They threw bouquets down mourning Jim. He was part of our family. It was a family that lost something, not just an actor. We have raised three generations of kids. There isn't any other show like that. M*A*S*H* was a grown-up show. Our age [was for those who started at] 14.

WCT: Tell me about love in your life.

Dawn Wells: I love love. I was married. I lost my father, the series was cancelled, and got a divorce all the same year. I only had one real love in my life and moved to Nashville for him. I lived there for 19 years.

WCT: I am going to Nashville Friday.

Dawn Wells: Are you? My best friend in the whole world lives there on 8th Avenue, with all of the antiques. I lived there before liquor by the drink. You had to buy a bottle in a paper bag. We would be in Printer's Alley and they would say, "The cops are coming" and we would run outside the bar.

WCT: There are still dry counties in some parts. You wrote a book, Mary Ann's Gilligan's Island Cookbook. Do you cook a lot?

Dawn Wells: I love to cook and love to eat!

WCT: Are you doing more books?

Dawn Wells: I am in the midst of one. We are looking for a publisher at the moment. It is about the world today with both Mary Ann's and Dawn's perspective. I don't think anyone has written a book as their character. What would she say with what is going on? Ninety percent of the men I meet married a Mary Ann. People like the values. The 40-year old fathers were raised on me and the values that Gilligan's Island portrays. Now they have a 13-year old daughter. I do a lot of motivational speaking and the questions are coming from the men "What do you do? What do you say?"

WCT: Are you similar to the character Mary Ann?

Dawn Wells: I am very similar in values. I was raised that way. I am more broadminded and worldly so the conversation between her and me is going to be interesting. She may not come to decisions about same sex marriage let's say but she would want to know what it's about and talk to me about it. She is not close-minded. She was very fair and open. She was just unsophisticated. We will see.

WCT: So maybe next year…

Dawn Wells: The film of Gilligan's Island is in the works. It is on the Warner Brothers list but not scheduled to shoot. The timing would be great if it were to happen at the same time. I hope they don't ruin the film. I don't think so since the authors have said they want their kids to see it. It will hopefully go into production in 2012. The script is not even approved yet. We lost Sherwood Schwartz the producer this year. He was 94 and still writing.

WCT: Isn't that something? We have to talk about RuPaul's Drag U, when you appeared as Chickadee.

Dawn Wells: This last summer I did Drag U, went to Burning Man, and visited the House of Ill Repute outside my hometown of Reno. When they called from Logo I told them I wanted to either be Margaret Thatcher or Queen Elizabeth and I wind up being Mae West. I was quite embarrassed how awful I was.

WCT: No you weren't bad at all. Was it fun working with Raven?

Dawn Wells: I asked Raven if she would do my makeup. They did a Loretta Young thing with my makeup but I couldn't turn my head. They had to loosen it up. It was a great experience! Is Raven still on?

WCT: Raven was on both seasons of Drag U.

Dawn Wells: RuPaul is quite proper and aloof. I wouldn't think he would be.

Time is running out as Love, Loss, and What I Wore closes Dec. 31 at the Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut St. For tickets and details visit www.broadwayinchicago.com; for more on Dawn, visit www.dawn-wells.com .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Director Mike Nichols dies 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Women at War 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Tamer of Horses 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Iphigenia in Aulis 2014-11-19
THEATER REVIEW Bearly Legal 2014-11-19
NUNN ON ONE Talking with Mr. Grinch 2014-11-19
Lypsinka back on stage after almost a decade 2014-11-19
John Ritter's son plays gay character on CBS' 'The McCarthys' 2014-11-19
Out actor Harrison White on LGBT productions, Chicago roots 2014-11-19
AOL True Trans concludes first season 2014-11-19
Theater spotlight; Critics' Picks 2014-11-19
Soap opera's Hall in 'Special Rudolph' Dec. 7 2014-11-19
Richard Simmons; Anderson Cooper pranked; Hot in Cleveland ending 2014-11-19
COMEDY Todd Glass admits to some dos and don'ts 2014-11-18
About Face Theatre presents Big Red and the Boys 2014-11-13
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Lyric brings back 'Porgy and Bess' in Zambello production 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW Featherstone 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW A Bright Room Called Day 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW The Inside 2014-11-12
THEATER REVIEW Lotto Fever in the Sucker State 2014-11-12
NUNN ON ONE NeNe Leakes lets it all hang out 2014-11-12
NUNN ON ONE Ryan Seacrest talks 'Idol,' clothes, Kardashians 2014-11-12
Theater spotlight, Critics picks 2014-11-12
The good, the bad and the hopeful 2014-11-11
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Werner aims for Broadway big league 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW The Lieutenant of Inishmore 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW Strandline 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW The Hundred Flowers Project 2014-11-05
THEATER REVIEW Titanic 2014-11-05
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-11-05
Vicious on PBS; I'm from Driftwood Nov. 13 2014-11-05
THEATER Osgood celebrates milestone career in stage managing 2014-11-05
NUNN ON ONE Lea Delaria talks 'Orange Is the New Black,' trans backlash 2014-11-05
Upcoming: Barlesque; casting auction; Gershwin, Ives 2014-11-05
Upcoming: WC&F party; BETTY; New Freddie Mercury songs 2014-11-05
Whitney-Manilow duet; LGBT Starbucks ad; GLAAD vs. Wendy Williams 2014-11-04
Discovery OKs docu-series on group of transgender friends 2014-11-04
Lady Balls to premier at Annoyance Theatre 2014-11-04
TELEVISION RJ Mitte of 'Breaking Bad' wants you to 'Cut the Bull' 2014-10-29
'Out' lesbian Moms Mabley was comedic pioneer 2014-10-29





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Federal judge: Montana's anti-equal marriage rule unconstitutional
 
TRAVEL Eureka Springs, Ark.: Living on mountain time
 
National Women's Hall of Fame hosts forum in Chicago
 
DISH: SAVOR Old Crow Smokehouse; Kokopelli
 
Leaving a legacy: Danny Kopelson reflects on Hall of Fame life
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.