April 24, 2006

Lucie Arnaz and daughter help open beleagered Theater

America loved Lucy, but Miami loves Lucie.

The Playhouse, Coconut Grove located in Miami Florida had closed it's doors last month prior to the opening of Sonia Flew, in which Lucie Arnaz is to star with her daughter Katharine D. Luckinbill.

Lucy Arnaz and daughter, Kate LuckinbillOutside the closed doors, Arnaz joins the theater staffers whose paychecks have bounced. Also gathered are the media and supporters of the play, rallied by Arnaz, who has told them that Sonia Flew is an important Cuban story to tell. Daughter Kate, a student at the University of Miami, has quietly slipped into the gathering with two other members of the cast.

To show her commitment, Arnaz matched a $50,000 donation from Bacardi USA for Sonia Flew's opening. That gets others to give.

After a 2 1/2-hour meeting, Playhouse board chair Shelly Spivack stands together with Arnaz before the television cameras to announce that the play will run at least two weeks. A third week may be added, she says, if the community packs the house and supports it financially.

This play is important to Lucie as she shares a professional theater stage with her 21-year-old daughter for the first time. Kate (named after Katharine Hepburn and also the daughter of another actor, Laurence Luckinbill) plays a younger Sonia in 1961 Cuba, and when the scene shifts to the present, plays Sonia's daughter.

It's Kate's first serious role.

Mother and daughter playing mother and daughter. And doing it with the history of being daughter and granddaughter to two of the most beloved figures on American television. Both are women who, while honoring their pedigree, want to be seen for themselves.

To prepare for their roles, mother and daughter have dipped into the Cuban side of their heritage - something Arnaz has been doing in the four years since she has been in Miami acting in three other productions at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

For more information about the Coconut Grove Playhouse, or on Sonia Flew, visit their web site at http://www.cgplayhouse.com/.

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