'The Brady Bunch's' Barry Williams keeps 'the good old days' alive in Branson
Barry Williams, alias eldest son Greg on "The Brady Bunch," is showcasing his memories of the 1969-74 ABC series in a show he now performs regularly at comic Yakov Smirnoff's theater in Branson, Mo. He also folds in elements of his past work in touring companies of such musicals as "The Sound of Music" and "Grease," but a sizable chunk of the production relates directly to what's titled "Lunch with the Brady Bunch."
"I tried it out last year and the response was very good," Williams tells Zap2it, "so I have built it up and started my first full season, and we're running Thursdays through Saturdays. It is exactly what the title implies; it's a musical-variety show, and the audience has lunch with the 'Brady Bunch' kids circa 2012.
"I've cast singer-dancers who look very much like the original Greg, Marcia, Peter, Bobby, Jan and Cindy, and we incorporate songs of the day. And we have a really nice lunch with things like barbecued chicken, and during that portion, we're watching clips from the good old days and never-before-seen footage and home movies. Basically, we keep on keepin' on and have a sunshine day!"
"The Brady Bunch" has been in repeats constantly, these days on Nick at Nite and the nostalgic channel Me-TV, and Williams finds that a great equalizer for everyone in his current audiences in Branson (where he has become a resident).
"I don't find any difference between grandparents, parents and children" in familiarity with the show, says the actor who recently became a father for the second time. "'The Brady Bunch' is kind of unique, along with 'I Love Lucy,' in that it's never been off the air. Before we even finished filming the show, it was in syndication, and today's kids also have found it. Its values and morality and depiction of family seem to be timeless."
To a degree, nostalgia also is playing into another Williams project: He teams with "The Partridge Family" alum and current Seattle radio personality Danny Bonaduce as opponents over the fate of the title character in "Bigfoot," a Syfy movie debuting Saturday, June 30.
The film gives Williams, as with the live "Brady Bunch" staging he envisions doing for the next five years, "a platform from which I get to do exactly what I want to do. I'm giving the audience something they're enjoying, and that's enjoyable for me. The takeaway from my stage show really is the theme of family ... my 'Brady' family, my own family and now, my Branson family."