January 31, 2008

Lucille Ball Gets Her Own Room at The Friars Club

The New York Friars Club is honoring the funniest lady of them all, Lucille Ball, by renaming its second-floor Celebrity Room in her honor February 6. Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, will be a special guest of honor that day at an invitation-only reception in the Lucille Ball Room to mark the occasion.

January 24, 2008

Lucille Ball Takes The Cake

From the Pioneer Local relates Mark Seaman's six-tier cake which was a Tribute to Luclle Ball that won The National Wedding Cake Competition in Tulsa, Okla. last September.

"Purple was one of her favorite colors and she loved orchids," Seaman said, noting that an orchid dress that put Ball on Hollywood's first best-dressed list.

He focused on her younger, more glamorous years when Ball was a model and aspiring starlet prior to her popular television situation comedies that aired throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

"The colors and textures of her gowns lent themselves well to design elements of a wedding cake," Seaman explained, describing inspiration he found in a book about Ball.

Producers from The Food Network will air an hour-long program of the competition on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, as part of a The Wedding Bowl Night marathon. However if you miss Wedding Bowl, you can view the actual Lucille Ball cake at Seaman's Marked for Dessert: The Neighborhood Bakeshop, in Libertyville.

January 17, 2008

Museum Opens Doors For Free Weekend

The third annual Doors Open Jamestown, a free day at local museums and attractions, happens Saturday, January 19th.

The Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event, along with the Fenton History Center, Jamestown Audubon Society and Nature Center, Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, Robert H. Jackson Center, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Reg Lenna Civic Center and Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

Each of the museums and attractions is holding drawings and contributing to a grand-prize basket that will be raffled off at the end of the event. Doors Open focuses on encouraging local residents to take advantage of their area attractions. The museums are also offering discounts in their gift shops.

Visitors to the Lucy-Desi Museum will see a porcelain coffee service of Lucille Ball's from her daughter-in-law, Amy Arnaz; the green recliner that was part of the d├ęcor of Desi's Desilu Cahuenga office in the early 1950s; and costumes designed by five-time Emmy Award winner Ret Turner.

The Desilu Playhouse features exact replicas of the "I Love Lucy" television studio sound stages, a life-sized wall mural of the original studio audience, a "Vitameatavegamin" opportunity, "I Love Lucy" memorabilia, original costumes and props and more. The Lucy-Desi Museum and Desilu Playhouse will be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, read the full article from The Observer, or visit the Fenton History Center.

January 11, 2008

Lucie Arnaz Teams with David Friedman on Benefit Concert

Broadway, film and TV star Lucie Arnaz and her longtime friend, songwriter/composer David Friedman, will collaborate on a performance this coming weekend to benefit the Summer Theatre of New Canaan, Connecticut.

Billed as "An Evening with Lucie Arnaz," the nightclub act is set for Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at St. Luke's Performing Arts Center, 377 North Wilton Road in New Canaan, Connecticut.

In addition to Arnaz singing and Friedman on the piano, the show will include three back-up singers, bass and drum. Friedman promises a very "real" evening.

The Summer Theatre of New Canaan is a non-profit performing arts organization that aims for multi-generational audiences. It has produced four seasons of professionally produced outdoor Shakespeare, original shows for Theatre for a Young Audience, and family musicals. The performances have reached more than 24,000 people to-date.

Tickets for "An Evening with Lucie Arnaz" start at $50. Preferred seating tickets, some including a pre-show cocktail reception and/or post-show dinner with Lucie Arnaz and David Friedman, range from $250 to $2,500. For more information, log on to www.stonc.org, or call the Summer Theatre of New Canaan box office at 966-4634.

To read more, visit the Wilton Villager or read more from the New Cannan Advertiser.

January 01, 2008

No Laughter at Lucy-Desi Center

Last month, the Board Members of the Lucy-Desi Center and Museum resigned. These weren't your run of the meal Board Members, they included the children of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. This alone should have raised concern and the local media should have further investigated this and delve into the issues to find out exactly what is going on. Other Board Members included Lucille Ball's secretary, Wanda Clark and a major contributor and donor to the Center, Mary Rapaport.

Something just didn't smell right to me and it doesn't take long to investigate what is exactly going on. This goes into a major problem with our society today and the media in general. If it weren't for the blogosphere and the internet, the major media outlets would keep us all in the dark. It's true that the media has been religated down to nothing more then a puppet for local government propoganda, which is usually controlled by the conservatives.

Well, Jamestown isn't laughing anymore and apparently the laughter had disappeared from the Lucy-Desi Center a long time ago. Lucille Ball would not have supported the current administration at the Center nor the way the Center is being operated, personally and financially. Everyone always assumed the Center must be a very happy place and would be a fun place to be and work, but apparently it is quite the opposite. When a place can drive away volunteers in tears and finally drive away the very children of the couple who they are supposed to represent, someone must stand up and say enough is enough. And apparently past volunteers and employees and Board Members are doing just that.

The Executive Director of the Lucy-Desi Center, Ric Wyman and his associate Patricia Brininger are the reasons behind all the resignations, tears and unhappiness at the Center. It has been reported that Ric Wyman wants total control of the Center including all the items that have been donated to the Center including rare items that personally belonged to Lucille Ball. Many items have disappeared from the Center under his control with the help and support of his Associate Director, Pat Brininger. Since the resignations of all the Board Members he has instituted his friends on the Board and thus has tried to cement his support and control. His anger issues when he does not get his way along with his ability to amass personal vendetas towards his employees and the previous Board Members are the main reasons for the resignations. His inability to compromise and gain respect within the community has been detrimental to the Center and has lead to all the unhappiness.

But to some people, this is OK. It's OK to treat people unfairly. It's OK to demean people in front of their associates. As long as it results in a profit and can sustain business, then it's all OK. It's OK to allow this to happen and to allow the current leadership to remain. Is it truly OK all in the name of the mighty buck?

Mary Rapaport, a major contributor, volunteer and donor to the Center, along with her husband Bill have contributed over $750,000 to the Center and it was with the Rapaport's help that the Desilu Playhouse and Lucille Ball's childhood home in nearby Celeron have been rebuilt and created. According to Mary, "it was because I believed in the mission of the center and true healing powers behind love and laughter. After spending a few years around Ric and Pat, that mission statement seems to get lost because of the way you are treated there. There is no healing, love or laughter at the center."

Mary continues, "I have watched Ric treat people badly from the beginning. At first I thought it was just business. Over the years I realized that it was a control issue backed with anger. I often tried to reason with the director or his assistant. It went no where. The control continues and the issues there continue.

I quit the Board of Directors because of the nasty way that Ric and Pat treat people. I quit because of the horrible things that Ric and Pat were saying about me. I quit because of the rotten things that Ric says about VIP's and guests. Yes, I was there. Yes, I saw. Yes, I heard. And Yes, I am glad to be out from under his reign. It is a sad world when the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is the last place you want to be."

Her attorney suggested she resign, "I can say that Ric and Pat were the cause of my resignation. It was not a happy departure."

A call for all Lucy Fans is being made by the past Board Members of the Center and the past volunteers and employees of the Center to Save the Lucy-Desi Center. The Center is supported by the many fans of Lucille Ball worldwide, with their support of the Museum, memberships and festivals and without this support, leadership must change. If Lucy's own children cannot support the Center, then why should the fans?

The creed of the Center should be to further the legacy of Lucy and Desi and to protect this legacy and safeguard all the amazing artifacts for these world of fans. Lucy and Desi's children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. proposed a solution last May for the continuation of the Center and correct the problems at the Center but it was soundly rebuffed by Ric Wyman and Pat Brininger and this lead to more problems which resulted in their discontinuing their support for the Center.

A web site has been setup, www.SaveLucyDesiCenter.org for fans to learn more on how they can help preserve the legacy and let the laughter return to the Lucy-Desi Center and Museum.

I encourage everyone to visit and to be a part of the solution, by signing the Petition to Save The Lucy Desi Center.

PBS Documentary Features Lucille Ball


Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are featured in the four-part PBS documentary, “Pioneers of Television,” premiering at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

PBS’ four-week documentary series is running consecutive Wednesdays through Jan. 23, traces TV’s beginnings through episodes titled “Sitcoms,” “Late Night,” “Variety” and “Game Shows.”

Read more at The Buffalo News.

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