Retro RFH ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Lovey Show Time

The RFH Tower Players are prepping a boatload of fun on stage with Anything Goes in a few weeks. And sometimes you just never know who will show up as an audience stowaway — or something like that.

When it comes to boatloads of fun and acting, there’s nothing like a surprise celebrity in the audience from none other than the classic TV show Gilligian’s Island. It got us thinking … hijinks, a boat and setting sail on the high seas of fun is a loose theme between Gilligan’s and Anything Goes. Though, the Anything Goes boat is a ship and there’s no marooning, only a stowaway and hijinks.

So, set sail back with us to remember the fun celebrity in our midst in the day of the dinosaur — old, yet classic.

You’ve seen it here before and we’re showing you more shots back in time to the night in 1975 when the millionaire’s wife, Lovey Howell from 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island (look that classic up, Anything Goes cast), actress Natalie Schafer, showed up and joined the RFH Freshmen Follies cast after the finale and curtain.

Natalie was the aunt of a cast member — RFHer Gigi Schafer. While Natalie is no longer with us and there’s no chance of a Lovey sighting in the audience, you really just never know who may be watching. This cast didn’t. And it was kind of a surprise to her niece as well.

The best part about the guest appearance, in fact, was Natalie’s mingling among cast members after the show. She was a hoot to hang with — beautiful and gracious, too. The photos show the fun among RFH friends and Natalie on stage after the show. No pretense here, just happy RFH freshmen rubbing elbows and breaking down the set with Natalie aboard.

In these pics, taken by RFH’s George Day, Natalie is talking with her niece (left) and the RFH Class of ’78 President Ward Tietz as emcee Joey Jones is still applauding her appearance and the rest of the cast disassembles equipment.

So, you never know who may be watching your show, Tower Players. In the meantime, just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale … of good ol’ RFH show times, a famous aunt from a TV island and budding celebrities from the RFH stage.

Break a leg Anything Goes cast! You never know who’ll be in the audience.

Natalie Schafer was born in Red Bank in 1900. She would have been 124 this year. She died on April 10, 1991 at 90.

— Photo/George Day

** George Day’s photos are for use exclusively on R-FH Retro. No copying or publishing elsewhere. **