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I Love Lucy Live

A step back into the world of 50's TV

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From the beginning announcement to the final musical number, the cast of I Love Lucy Live had the audience feeling as if they were actually in a filming of the classic TV show.

With a long introduction from TV host Maury (Mark Christopher Tracy), the audience had high expectations. The extravaganza started with commercials, which were a clever way to incorporate more actors into the show – and added to the nostalgia of I Love Lucy. Bryllcreem, the  tap-dancing Alka Seltzer character, Chevy commercials, Mr. Clean and the radioactive face cream detector gave the Crystaltone Singers the chance to showcase their talent.

As Lucy (Thea Brooks), Ricky (Euriamis Losada), Fred (Kevin Remington), and Ethel (Lori Hammel) entered the theater the audience had an obvious hype about them. Each character was delivered almost identically to the original – especially Ricky with his accent and familiar singing voice. In a Q & A after the show Remington noted that, “We not only have to play Fred, Lucy, Ethel, and Ricky – we also have to play Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Desi Arnaz, and William Frawley.” And that they did. The actors didn’t try to do impressions of the TV show cast, they became the cast.

Throughout the show there was live music, but I couldn’t locate it. When it was finally revealed, I found myself saying, “Ahhh…THERE’S the pit –  they were behind the curtain the whole time!”  Like a game show – the biggest prize was behind curtain number one – the pit orchestra that played Ricky Ricardo’s band, conducted by Andy Belling,  The expert musicians played iconic Ricky Ricardo numbers like “Babalu” and “Cumbanchero.”

The costumes by Shon LeBlanc were a huge part of this show.  In order to portray such a well-known TV series, the costumes needed to be true to the time and true to the TV show. The costumes had the same nostalgic feeling that the commercials did and took us back in time to Lucy’s polka-dotted wide belted dresses, Ricky’s smoking jacket, and the outrageous costumes from the Ricardo’s trunk, including purple argyle socks for Fred and a purple flapper costume for Ethel.

Just like a TV filming, there was lots of audience participation. The announcer Maury had a great presence and a wonderful announcer voice, and was clever at improvisation when pulling out an audience member for an I Love Lucy quiz game. While the “planted” audience member got the year’s supply of Halo shampoo…the real audience member got the biggest prize of the night – an I Love Lucy tote bag with I Love Lucy merch signed by the cast.

The night was filled with laughs, applause, and moments of nostalgia. From musical commercials to Lucy’s physical comedy, from the chemistry between the Ricardos to costumes that could have come straight out of the TV, this show was a pleasure. Following the performance, Remington said they created the show as a valentine to I Love Lucy and as we left the theater I thought to myself, “I love Lucy and Lucy loves me.”

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