Sunday, January 25, 2004

Falcon Theatre moves to Newport

The arts

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It won't be the same old Monmouth Theater when Gilligan's Island - The Musical opens Feb. 6 for a three weekend run in Newport.

Gilligan marks the first appearance for Falcon Theatre on the Kentucky side of the river. When Falcon's longtime home Westwood Town Hall announced that it would close for renovations, Falcon went in search of a new space and found it at the party room-turned-theater at 636 Monmouth.

But before SS Falcon Theatre could set sail on stage, company members went to work to make the space a theater, not a party room.

First they tore out the drop ceiling. "Unfortunately, the original lathe and plaster had deteriorated so badly that we had to drywall the ceiling, an entire side wall and half the back wall," sighs Falcon's Jay Benson.

The original 20-by-15-foot stage wasn't nearly big enough, so the troupe set about expanding the playing and backstage areas to about 22 feet by 20 feet.

It was artistic director Ted Weil who dove under the series of old and new stages to bolt and clamp them together. "It has been messier than we expected," he laughs.

Construction on the theater interior, which included a few coats of paint and hanging a light grid, finished in mid-January - just in time to start building the palm tree-laden Gilligan set, which. Weil sadly reports, can't quite fit a wrecked ship - or a live band. The legendary SS Minnow will be represented by a ship's wheel.

For Gilligan reservations and information call (513) 481-9042, or go to


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