Free “I Love Lucy: Live” Essay Sample
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On March 29 I went to see “I Love Lucy Live” at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. My seat was in the lower balcony and afforded a great view of the stage. The theater had excellent sound and lighting and the show was very enjoyable and the accommodations comfortable. The show starred Thea Brooks as Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) and Euriamis Losada as Ricky (Desi Arnaz). Rounding out the famous foursome are Lori Hammel as Ethel and Kevin Remington as Fred. The play is directed by Rick Sparks and it is adapted from the television series and produced by Sparks and Kim Flagg (“Who’s Who”). The music and scenes are taken from the show when it originally aired.
The premise of the musical is that the actual audience is playing the studio audience at the taping of two episodes of the original “I Love Lucy” television series. In between scenes live commercials for Palmolive and Chevrolet are featured. The concept was clever and by making the audience feel like they were a part of television history made the experience highly engaging.
The two episodes features are, “Lucy Gets her Eyes Examined” and “The Benefit”. Both of these episodes allow the writers and performers to showcase the ensemble cast at their best: comedy through verbal interaction; physical comedy and musical numbers. The show is very two dimensional in that it is a “cover” of the famous television series. Although the cast are playing famous actors playing their famous roles the audience really only sees the surface performances of the actors as we have seen them on television. There is not behind the scenes interactions in which the audience is exposed toe Lucille Ball or Vivian Vance. The production is firmly rooted in the characters they played on the television show.
The interactions between the characters was personal and well written and choreographed. The cast seemed to be very comfortable with each other and they were all very talented. About half way through the show, it was not as apparent to me that I was not watching a play, but the television show. The costumes, makeup and sets were exceptionally well done and captured the look of the 1950’s. Throughout the show, there were two large television off to the sides of the stage to remind the audience that they were watching a taping.
Within the plot of the television episodes, there are musical numbers, notably featuring Ricky Ricardo and his band at the Tropicana Nightclub. The band was excellent and performed professionally and adeptly. The Latin music is energetic and “Ricky’s” performance was on target, matching the original Ricky’s charisma and talent. The commercials in between were entertaining and lively. These performances gave the audience the true feeling of being at a studio taping.
The marketing for the event was sentimental and heart-warming. The posters are very nostalgic, featuring the original “I love Lucy” logo and style of writing. The famous leaning in and kissing of the couple (Lucy and Ricky) are also featured. Commercials on television and an internet search of the show produced dozens of testimonials from people of all ages gushing about the show being funny and “feel good” (Stein). In my on-line search before attending, I read several reviews from critics in other cities where the play has already been performed. The reviews were generally favorable and all of them cited that the show was sentimental and/ or nostalgic.
As a young adult, I am familiar with the television show “I Love Lucy” but I do not consider myself a huge fan. References to life in the 1950’s were lost on me. For example, there is an issue with a landline telephone and the “party line” that existed. The commercials were funny but not because I recognized them or was familiar with advertising from that time period. Overall, the venue was comfortable and the show was very good. I was happy that I had the opportunity to experience it.
Stein, Ruthe. “’I Love Lucy’ Comes to the Stage.” The San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Nov. 2014
Web 9 Apr. 2015 http://www.sfchronicle.com/performance/article/I-Love-Lucy-comes-to-
“Who’s Who.” I Love Lucy Live! n.d. Web 9 Apr. 2015 http://www.ilovelucylive.com
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