I got an early Christmas present today. I got to have a lovely conversation with the absolutely delightful , Dawn Wells. Dawn is currently appearing at the Broadway Playhouse in “Love , Loss , and What I Wore.” Dawn took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about the play, Chicago, and of course a certain three tour she took about forty some years ago.
She feels strongly that if an actor takes a role in a series, and becomes part of a show,” they should embrace the role or not take it because there are a lot of actors who would be glad to take the role” She also doesn’t see herself as an icon, “an icon is a religious thing that you hang on a wall.” She pointed out that “Gilligan’s Island” has been the longest running series in syndication. It has not been off the air since it premiered in 1964. I was happy to hear that she absolutely loves Chicago. She loves the shopping , and the gorgeous views, and the fact that the downtown area is so clean. She hadn’t tried Chicago style pizza yet, but said that she was a big fan of Eli’s Cheesecake. We also got a chance for me to tell her some of my fave places to eat . Dawn definitely loves food and cooking. She is part Italian. She also expressed that she felt Chicago is filled with talent. She has wonderful rapport with the rest of the cast. They think of her as a mother hen and a mentor in the dressing room each night.
Animals are dear to Dawn’s heart, since she has two cats. She has also been to Africa many times. Her other causes include special children, Childrens’ Miracle Network, and the elderly. One of the things that Dawn is most proud of is the fact that she cared for her mother until her death at 94. I smiled as she began to describe her former Gilligan’s shipmates. It is obvious how much she loves them and misses them. “Alan was so outgoing , and friendly , and he talked to everyone. On the other hand, Bobby was so private , and introverted . He was a master of comedy. ” Dawn said she recently talked with Russell Johnson aka “the Professor” ” Him and Natalie had contests to see who was funnier.” Dawn had a special , close relationship with Natalie Schaefer , who played the beloved Mrs. Howell. She spoke fondly of her , since Natalie thought of her as a daughter.
Dawn ‘s next project is another book. It is involves a conversation between the real life Dawn and the fictional Mary Ann. Dawn was raised and has a lot of the same values as “Mary Ann” It is very obvious she embraces the character she created. “The book is about how a sweet country girl embraces her values in modern times. How do parents keep track of their children? With all this texting, facebook, and twittering?” And Mary Ann has this conversation with her alter ego, Dawn.” The book will be out at the end of 2012.
If you want a shopping break and want to see a great show. Come see the girls in “Love, Loss, and What I Wore.” at Broadway Playhouse in Water Tower Place until January 1.