Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel – America’s favorite sitcom foursome are performing live on stage and in color for the very first time! Making its world premiere is I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, a musical comedy tribute to one of America’s most enduring and popular television shows.
This super-fun show is now playing at the Greenway Court Theatre until December 30th.
Dress up in a vintage outfit – ladies, hats and gloves are recommended – and travel back to the 1950s, to the famed Desilu Studios, where we act as the studio audience for the ‘filming’ of I Love Lucy. Two episodes of the iconic and beloved sitcom are staged in segments, each broken up by vintage-style musical commercials performed and sung live by the supporting cast, and the whole show is hosted by a jokey television studio MC (Mark Christopher Tracy). In addition to the classic comedy scenes that take place in Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s New York apartment, musical director Wayne Moore conducts The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra live from the “Tropicana Nightclub.”
Sirena Irwin stars as Lucy Ricardo opposite Bill Mendieta as Ricky Ricardo. Bill Chott plays Fred Mertz while Lisa Joffrey is fantastic as Ethel Mertz. Although Mendieta is a dead-ringer for Ricardo, none of the actors resort to mimicking these real-life TV (and movie) legends; rather they emulate the essence of what made them so funny to watch. Of course, we get several of Lucy’s trademark reactions and a taste of her appallingly off-key singing. It’s hilarious stuff.
I Love Lucy – Live on Stage is highly similar to last year’s smash hit show Hoboken to Hollywood (the style and format is almost identical) with its the behind-the-scenes of a TV show taping. But it’s extremely really well done and especially clever at eliciting audience participation (including the insertion of a couple of incredibly funny and obvious ‘plants’ in our audience.)
Also featured in the cast, playing multiple roles, are Noel Britton, Tom Christensen, Steven Connor, Gregory Franklin, Ed Martin, Denise Moses, Cindy Sciacca, Amy Tolsky, Gina Torrecill and Kerri-Anne Lavin. Mark Christopher Tracy as the TV studio host peppers his banter with loads of topical references that keep us lodged in this quaint, bygone era. The supporting cast dance and sing in exquisite six-part harmonies and present a range of old-time commercials for popular products such as Alka Seltzer, Brylcream (“a little dab’ll do ya!”) cleaning products, soaps and cold cream and, naturally, Chevrolet cars.
While this show could have used a bit more of a backstage storyline – there is only a single scene where Lucy and Ethel fluff their lines and have to do a re-take – I Love Lucy – Live on Stage is loads of fun for young and old.
I Love Lucy® Live on Stage
544 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Runs until December 30, 2011
Approximately 90 minutes, no intermission
Purchase tickets here.
Or call 800-595-4TIX (800-595-4849)