"Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story" premieres in Australia

February 17, 2010 | Surfing
Gidget is back to surfing

How many Gidgets does it take to premiere a new Gidget movie?

Maybe not as many as you’d find Elvises at an Elvis convention, but expect quite a few when Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story makes its Australian debut at the Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing, presented by Golden Breed.

Gidgets on stage for the premiere will include the original Gidget, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, diminutive Californian surf legend Mickey Munoz who doubled for star Sandra Dee in the surf scenes in the 1959 movie, and Australian Gidget Layne Beachley, seven-time world surfing champion.

Gidgets in the audience are expected to number in the hundreds, with everyone invited to get into the 1950s Malibu groove and dig out those pedal pushers, frilly blouses, and bad Hawaiian shirts.

Gidget’s Girls Night Out, presented by Noosa Longboards, is a night of fun for guys and gals, with live music by Canadian singer/songwriter Kym Campbell, a spectacular 1950s retro swimsuit parade presented by the Karen Neilsen Collection, a chat session with the Gidgets, plenty of laughs guaranteed, plus ‘50s-style burgers and other great dishes available from Parque @ Surf City, the festival’s own licensed bar/café.

The show, hosted by surfing world champions Layne Beachley and Peter Townend, kicks off with the first Australian showing of Greg Huglin’s short feature Surfing Dolphins, followed by the swimsuit parade.

After intermission, Accidental Icon makes its debut, followed by an on-stage chat session with director Brian Gillogly and the stars of the movie.

(Expect some surprises!) Then it’s dance the night away with Kym Campbell live and the Parque bar rockin’.

Accidental Icon tells the story behind the famous book and film franchise that brought surfing to the masses more than half a century ago. Los Angeles teenager Kathy Kohner discovered Malibu, boys, and surfing in the fabulous summer of ’56.

She had such a ball with Kahuna, Tubesteak, and the crew, that she wrote it all down in her diary and showed it to her dad, screenwriter Frederick Kohner.

The rest is history, with the book becoming a bestseller and spawning a run of movies and TV series that spanned more than 30 years.

The story that Brian Gillogly tells in his excellent documentary is how this pretty girl from Brentwood almost inadvertently opened the door for women into a previously male domain and became surfing’s first feminist, inspiring future champions like Layne Beachley, who was known exclusively as “Gidget” until she became a household name in her own right.

Fun, food, film, fashion…Gidget’s Girls Night Out will be an evening to remember, with an underlining message of female empowerment. Don’t leave the old man at home. Bring him along, he might learn something!