December 31, 2009

An Evening With Lucille Ball


By WALT BELCHER | The Tampa Tribune

Suzanne LaRusch, the foremost Lucille Ball impressionist in the country, teamed up with Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, to create this production, running through January 17 at the Straz Center in Tampa, Florida.

Suzanne LaRusch was playing Lucy Ricardo long before she started performing as Lucille Ball.

"The two are very different — one is the actress, the other is her most famous character," LaRusch said.

She portrays both in "An Evening With Lucille Ball: Thank You For Asking," which opens in Tampa on Tuesday.

Lucy Ricardo was the scatterbrained, slapstick character created by Ball in the long-running "I Love Lucy" series.

Her Lucy was a star-struck, stay-at-home wife of temperamental Cuban band leader Ricky Ricardo, played by Ball's real-life husband, Desi Arnaz.

In LaRusch's one-woman show, she portrays Ball as she was in the 1970s, giving a question-and-answer session about her life and career.

"In flashbacks, I also become the Lucy character and take people behind the scenes of some of the classic sketches such as the Vitameatavegamin commercial, the grape-stomping episode and others," LaRusch said in a telephone interview.

"It's not meant to be a parody and I'm not doing just a Lucy impression," she added. "It's a touching insightful look at Lucille Ball that includes some of her personal memories and observations that have never been shared before."

That's because the production is co-written, co-produced and directed by Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, who will be at the performances on Jan. 14, 15 and 16.

The play is being staged in the intimate Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts through Jan. 17.

Lucie Arnaz will talk with the audience after those performances. "She has been very hands on with this and has added so much to the show with things I never knew about her mother," said LaRusch, who has been performing various "Lucy" shows since the 1990s.

As the foremost Lucille Ball impressionist in the country, LaRusch teamed up with Lucie Arnaz in 2006 to create this production which opened in April 2009 at Desi Arnaz Jr.'s theater in Boulder City, Nev.

This is only the second run of the play that LaRusch hopes to one day take to Broadway.

A former child actor, LaRusch grew up near Hollywood and was portraying several famous people (Marylyn Monroe, Mae West, Betty Boop) for Universal Studios in 1991 when her impression of Lucy began to impress everyone.

"I didn't notice the facial resemblance myself before I dressed as Lucy," she said. "I have straight blond hair. But I always thought my mother was a dead ringer for Lucy."

Ball was a movie actress in the 1930s and 1940s. She was in her late 30s when she became one of television's biggest stars in the 1950s. She died in 1989.

For almost two decades LaRusch has been authorized by Lucie and Desi Jr. to portray their mother. She has appeared at numerous public events, performed for presidents and even sold "I Love Lucy" products on the Home Shopping Network. She was a runner-up on the ABC reality show "The Next Best Thing," the search to find the best celebrity impressionist.

She starred as Lucille Ball in many productions, including the 50th anniversary performance of the radio show "My Favorite Husband," the radio program that inspired "I Love Lucy."

"I enjoy playing her and think this is a good way to honor her life and career," she said.

THEATER PREVIEW
'An Evening With Lucille Ball: Thank You For Asking'

WHEN: Tuesday through Jan. 17

WHERE: Jaeb Theater, David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

HOW MUCH: Regularly priced tickets start at $36.50.

December 15, 2009

Lucie Arnaz appears at Rrazz Room , Hotel Nikko in San Francisco


The San Francisco Sentinel provides an article, "A CONVERSATION WITH LUCIE ARNAZ – This Week At The Rrazz Room" by Se├ín Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher.

Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, brings her new show to the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko, Tuesday through Sunday, December 8th–13th.

“An Evening with Lucie Arnaz,” features Lucie singing everything from jazz to Broadway, taking her fans on a musical tour of her life. She began her long career in a recurring role during six seasons of The Lucy Show, opposite her mother, Lucille Ball. At age fifteen, she became a series regular on Here’s Lucy, and starred in her own series, The Lucie Arnaz Show and later in the critically acclaimed Sons & Daughters on CBS. Sunday afternoon Lucie and I talked about her show just shortly after she arrived in San Francisco and checked in.



For more, read the interesting conversation at The San Francisco Sentinel.

November 19, 2009

The Lucy Show - More DVD Seasons on Way!

An industry source has relayed information regarding the next DVD season release for "The Lucy Show".

The new planned release date for "The Lucy Show - The Official Season 2" DVD is presently scheduled for July 13, 2010. If sales are successful, the studio will then follow up with an October 12th release for Season 3.

Please note though, that follow-up DVD releases are not a guarantee. Season 2 release Must have good sales before CBS/Paramount will commit to releasing the third season set in October. As long as you continue to buy the series, they are willing to keep making the releases.

So, if you have not purchased Season 1 - then visit the "Everything Lucy Store" and be sure to get your copy today. Your purchase will help in guaranteeing the release of all 6 seasons of "The Lucy Show".

October 19, 2009

Lucie Arnaz Set for 92Y Concerts and Conversation with Rex Reed


Lucie Arnaz will host and perform in the 92nd Street Y's Babalu: The American Songbook Goes Latin - with the Music of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra, to play January 9-11. The show is the first part of the 92Y's Lyrics and Lyricists program and is kicking off the organization's 40th anniversary season of its American Songbook Series.

In anticipation of these concerts, Arnaz will appear in a conversation with Rex Reed on October 27. The actress-singer will talk about her career, the legacies of her parents Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and the 92Y concert.

Arnaz began her career on the TV shows The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy, appearing with her legendary mother. She won an Emmy Award as the executive producer of the documentary film Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie. Her Broadway credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Lost in Yonkers and They're Playing our Song.

For further information, visit: www.92y.org.

October 17, 2009

Lucy is now Off Hallmark Again!

It was just this past week when we announced that we would be getting more I Love Lucy on Hallmark, but guess what...now that will be cut. Hallmark quietly removed the weekdays 9-10am hour of I Love Lucy on Thursday, Oct. 13th and returned Golden Girls in that hour. Starting Monday, Oct. 19th, once again I Love Lucy is getting cut completely from its current 5pm-11pm hours. M*A*S*H returns and will air in its old 5pm-8pm hours, while Touched by an Angel returns at 8pm, and the primetime movie from 9-11pm. So I Love Lucy goes from 7 hours a day this week to ZERO hours a day this coming week! What is going on with all the schedule changes at Hallmark? Ratings must be key, but it seems Hallmark makes moves and changes those moves within days. It's getting to be why bother even watching anything on Hallmark with all these schedule changes.

So, we're down to no Lucy and back to watching them on DVD!

October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday "I Love Lucy"

On this date 58 years ago, "I Love Lucy" premiered! The show was actually the second episode of "I Love Lucy", The Girls Want to go to a Nightclub. The Pilot episode was not actually aired until 1991.

The first episode wasn't aired until November 5th, 1951 - although this was the first episode filmed, it was the fourth to air because the producers decided "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub" was a better episode to premiere.

For more visit "Everything Lucy" at http://everythinglucy.youns.com.

LIFE Photos on the set of "I Love Lucy"

See behind the scenes photos from 'I Love Lucy': LIFE on the Set - Photo Gallery, from LIFE: http://bit.ly/1daAfd

October 13, 2009

More Lucy on the Hallmark Channel

Since the "I Love Lucy" marathon, October 4th and the return of "I Love Lucy" to the regular channel lineup in the evenings on the Hallmark Channel, we are now getting Lucy in the morning as well!

Starting Monday, October 12th, "I Love Lucy" will appear in the 9am - 10am timeslot where Golden Girls used to play. Golden Girls is just moving to begin an hour later. Also, starting tonight, October 13th, "I Love Lucy" will be appearing in the 9pm - 11pm timeslot! It is already playing in the late afternoon-early evening hours. 5pm - 9pm. Which means "I Love Lucy" will be playing from 5pm until 11pm every day including the one hour morning timeslot!

But in November, Lucy is scheduled to go back to a 5pm - 8pm schedule! So enjoy Lucy now while you can!

October 09, 2009

Lucille Ball on The Phil Donahue Show

Lucille Ball interview with Phil Donahue, 1974. Lucy discusses her film 'Mame' and her comedy career with a live audience.











You can find more great videos on this YouTube Channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/danrag#p/u/13/y0UhZ7TpeXs

More Great Lucille Ball Video Clips

Here are more video clips from YouTube of Lucille Ball. This one is from 1981 Password Game Show featuring Lucille Ball and Betty White, Dick Martin and Desi Arnaz Jr.!











Desi Arnaz remembers Lucille Ball

Came across this video on YouTube. Great memories from Desi Arnaz.

October 07, 2009

Lucy as a Model, Modeling for Hattie Carnegie



We "Lucy lovers" almost have to credit the famous Hattie Carnegie and her salon with the start of Lucy's career. Hattie was born on 15 March 1889 in Vienna and came to New York where she eventually based her fashion empire.

She rose to fame in the 20's and 30's which was the era of hats for women and Hattie started out as a milliner where owned a beautiful shop on East Tenth street. She called it Carnegi-Ladies Hatter. After that, she turned her attention to her dress shop which she opened in a much ritzier neighbor hood on the upper West side at 42ND and 49Th streets. Now close to Saks Fifth Avenue, the Hattie Carnegie boutique began to cater to a much different clientele. Hattie sold dresses that were her own design as well as dresses from designers such as the famous Chanel and Dior as well as a costume jewelry line she also designed herself. Believe it or not, she even sold cosmetics, but under a different name.

It wasn't long before Hattie's designs were a major success and her client list began to include movie stars and royalty such as the Duchess of Windser and Joan Crawford. Hattie died in 1956 but her dresses, hats and jewelry are still prized and highly collectible even today and often go for outrageous prices and they are worth every Penny!

When young Lucy graduated from high school and went to New York City looking for work and to make her mark on the show-biz world, she thought she'd try her hand at acting but when some teachers at the actors studio told her she was basically talentless (can you imagine!!!), knowing she needed to eat, Lucy decided to give modeling a try. Thinking that the name "Diane Belmont" (after the famous race track in New York) sounded sophisticated, she applied for a job at the famous salon. Because of her height and slim figure, she was hired.

Hattie took a instant liking to the skinny, long-legged girl and saw something in her that that others didn't. She used Lucy more often than her other models because she never complained, worked hard and always maintained a sense of humor. She also had the body to carry off all the looks in the salon. Hattie also recommended Lucy for the "Chesterfield Girl" billboard ad campaign. It seems as if it was a match made in heaven. This photo is one of our Lucy modeling. I can't be sure if this is a shot where she is wearing one of Hattie's designs or not, but it is beautiful and so is our girl. Despite the fact that Lucy was a redhead (for most of her life anyway)and "they" say redheads should wear pink, Lucy adored pink and looked gorgeous in it. This particular Hattie Carnegie dress did NOT belong to Lucy but she would have looked gorgeous in it!

September 22, 2009

Hallmark Channel Welcomes Back "I Love Lucy"

Last month I reported that I Love Lucy was taken off The Hallmark Channel lineup and was the first time that Lucy was not shown nationally. Although, some local channels may have aired the program, it was not available on the National level. Well it seems like it is back on Hallmark's schedule!

It seems that The Hallmark Channel had previously scheduled an I Love Lucy marathon to air on Sunday, October 4th from 11am-3am...now it looks even better for Lucy fans! It looks like they were planning that marathon for a comeback! Effective Monday, October 5th, the day after the marathon, I Love Lucy returns to the regular Hallmark Channel schedule and it isn't a late night time slot either! I Love Lucy will air weekdays from 5pm-8pm, which means six straight episodes, replacing M*A*S*H, which is now off the line-up, but it is still being shown by TV Land.

As for I Love Lucy, you people need to watch if you want it to STAY on the schedule, especially 5pm-8pm. They are giving it yet another chance...but Hallmark seems to have a short leash, so watch it this time or you'll have some splaining to do!

September 14, 2009

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Launches New Web Portal Showcasing...

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Launches New Web Portal
Showcasing Television's Greatest Stories at EmmyTVLegends.org
Free Web Video Portal is Ready for Prime Time with Not-to-be-Missed Moments
with More Than 600 TV Legends Including Alan Alda, Walter Cronkite, Michael J.
Fox, Ron Howard, Leonard Nimoy, Regis Philbin, Tim Russert, Barbara Walters,
Betty White and Henry Winkler

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences Foundation has launched EmmyTVLegends.org, a new web video portal
offering free, public access to the Archive of American Television, the most
comprehensive videotaped interview collection of its kind. It features
revealing conversations with more than 600 influential figures that have
shaped the television industry from its inception to present day, and includes
little-known anecdotes, unique perspectives, and eyewitness accounts from top
names in TV.

This ambitious, new website has been more than a decade in the making. Since
1996, the Archive has conducted in-depth interviews with television's biggest
stars, industry legends, and crucial behind-the-scenes players who make
television magic. In 2005, the Archive began to release the interviews online
to the public, but until now there was no easy way to search and navigate the
footage.

At launch, visitors to the beta site at EmmyTVLegends.org will find an
abundance of video footage that will delight any TV fan. Candid, surprising,
heartfelt and hilarious stories are now instantly and easily accessible to
anyone online. Visitors can now enjoy such footage as:

-- TV legend Mary Tyler Moore recalling what her comedic hero, Lucille
Ball, told her one day on the set of "The Dick Van Dyke Show,"
and why it was the most rewarding moment of her career (Mary Tyler
Moore, 1997)
-- Phylicia Rashad revealing that Nelson Mandela credits "The Cosby
Show" for easing tensions with his prison guard (Phylicia Rashad,
2007)
-- Recently departed news legend Walter Cronkite relating the difficulty
of
deciding to publicly and personally express his disillusionment about
the Vietnam War on his newscast (Walter Cronkite, 1998)

-- Current Emmy(R) Award nominees such as Betty White, Alan Alda, William
Shatner and others speaking at unprecedented length about their
careers
in television


"We always envisioned the Archive of American Television as a free, dynamic,
and accessible resource for anyone who loves the medium of television," said
Television Academy Foundation Chairman Jerry Petry. "EmmyTVLegends.org is a
fascinating destination, serving up great stories and career reminiscences
about your favorite television stars and programs, as well as all the drama,
comedy, and twists of fate that created this medium and continue to shape it
today."

Interviews on the site have been meticulously indexed and tagged, edited into
segments, summarized and cross-referenced to ease navigation and encourage
discovery. The portal's advanced search functionality enables researchers to
find exactly what they are looking for, while suggested content links help
curious users get the most out of the collection. Each entry features
background information and links to additional resources, including complete
episodes of select series. All content on the site is easily shared across
popular social media sites. The portal is complemented by the Foundation's
existing social media platforms including a blog, Twitter and Facebook.

"Television has produced some of the most talented people in this country, and
it's about time that the TV industry had its own archive," said multiple Emmy
Award winner and Archive interviewee Regis Philbin.
EmmyTVLegends.org launches today in beta with more than 100 interviews,
including Alan Alda, Steven Bochco, Ed Bradley, "I Love Lucy" writers Bob
Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis, set designer Roy Christopher, Walter
Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, Michael J. Fox, Larry Gelbart, Sharon Gless, Sherman
Hemsley, Ron Howard, Norman Lear, fashion designer Bob Mackie, "Sesame
Street's" Sonia Manzano, Leonard Nimoy, Carroll O'Connor, Regis Philbin,
Phylicia Rashad, Tim Russert, producer Jay Sandrich, television executive and
producer Fred Silverman, Lesley Stahl, Jean Stapleton, Barbara Walters, and
Henry Winkler.

Earlier this year, the Academy Foundation selected Mochila, a premium content
syndication technology platform and network, to design the Archive as an
accessible web portal. Mochila provided all website design and custom
development that allows users to view the thousands of hours of content in
short- and long-form segments.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation
Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation is dedicated to utilizing the
resources of the Television Academy and the artistry of television to preserve
and celebrate the history of the medium, while educating and guiding those who
will shape its future. The Foundation is responsible for the Archive of
American Television, as well as education programs such as the College
Television Awards and its renowned student internship program. For more
information on the Foundation, the Television Academy and its many
industry-related programs, services and year-round Academy events, please
visit EmmyTVLegends.org.

September 13, 2009

The Christmas Show: Fred Mertz Platinum Label Collection

Due out sometime this fall as I had suspected is Fred Mertz in "The Christmas Show" for the Mattel Barbie "I Love Lucy" series. This would complete the 4 who had previously been released. Lucy was the first in this particular set and released as a Pink Label in 2006, next came Ethel who was a rare Platinum label doll of which only 999 worldwide was made and released in November 2007. Next was Ricky who was released in October 2008 and now to complete this forth and final Santa Doll in the I Love Lucy series from Mattel is Fred Mertz, who will be released as a Platinum Label. This is also the very first ever Fred Mertz Doll in this series and is the 20th doll in the "I Love Lucy" series by Mattel.

This will be sure to be a complete sell-out as soon as it is released so be sure to keep an eye out for it this Fall. No particular date has been set, but as soon as I hear anything, I will be sure to let all the Lucy fans know (but only after I made my own purchase! ;)

I Love Lucy Doll: The Ballet

New for 2009 in the Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy Mattel Barbie series is "The Ballet". The new doll was designed by Sharon Zuckerman.

In her unquenching thirst to become a star, Lucy cons her way into a ballet class in hopes of securing a spot in Ricky's show. Hilarity ensues, as Lucy finds herself completely out of her league. I Love Lucy® "The Ballet" captures the pure comic genius of Lucille Ball. From the signature red hair to the ballerina costume complete with pink tutu and pink slippers, you, too, will fall in love with Lucy.

You can find this new Mattel Barbie doll at our Everything Lucy Store or at your nearest Barbie Collector doll retailer.

August 28, 2009

Is This the END of I Love Lucy on TV?

I Love Lucy which had been airing on The Hallmark Channel since it was purchased from TV Land has been turned off. Hallmark picked up I Love Lucy when the show's contract with TV Land expired at the end of 2008. It began airing the show in January 2009 but only 8 months later after moving the show around to various timeslots throughout the day and night has decided to call it quits. So this means I Love Lucy is totally off the schedule now and for the first time in 58 years is not shown anywhere nationally on TV sets across America.

Will it return sometime on Hallmark or will they sell it off to another network, only time will tell. This classic and timeless treasure has been hushed and this is a sad day for us Lucy fans.

You can contact the Hallmark Channel and politely suggest they return I Love Lucy to the daytime schedule or sale the contract to another network that will continue to air this all-time American classic.

August 18, 2009

Here's Lucy Season 2 DVD Coming in November

Even before the release of Lucille Ball's third show on DVD, "Here's Lucy" Season 1 DVD is arriving in retail in just one week on August 25th, MPI Home Video just announced the release of Season 2!

Fans that attended the celebration of Lucille Ball's birthday earlier this month in Jamestown by the Lucy-Desi Museum were treated to a sneak peak preview of the DVD.

The legendary queen of television comedy, Lucille Ball, is joined by her real-life children in her third long-running sitcom success. Ball plays Lucille Carter, widowed mother of teenagers Kim and Craig, portrayed by Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. Lucy works for her brother-in-law, played by Gale Gordon, who owns Carter's Unique Employment Agency, leading Lucy into endless predicaments and hilarious hijinks.

The complete second season of HERE'S LUCY (1968-74, CBS-TV) features all 24 color episodes uncut and digitally remastered for superior quality, plus a wealth of new and never-before-seen special features. Guest stars include Vivian Vance, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Milton Berle, Ann-Margret, Liberace, Wayne Newton, Lawrence Welk, Wally Cox and Patty Andrews of The Andrews Sisters.

You can expect HERE'S LUCY Season 2 to hit the stores on November 3rd. The 24 episodes will run 610 minutes, and are presented in remastered full-screen video, and English audio.

August 10, 2009

Ethel to get own postage stamp

The Kansas girl born Vivian Roberta Jones now has a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of her birth.

The world knows her as Vivian Vance, and she became one of America's "best friends" in the 1950s when she played Ethel Mertz on the "I Love Lucy" TV series.

Vance was born July 26, 1909, in Cherryvale. She died in 1979.

On August 11th, her surviving relatives will celebrate the release of the stamps in her hometown post office, along with postal authorities. Vance's stamp is one of 20 the U.S. Postal Service is introducing nationally.

The series of stamps called Early TV Memories, highlights some of America's favorite television shows, including "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Honeymooners" and "You Bet Your Life."

"The stamps are calling cards for America's rich cultural history," said Richard Watkins, postal service spokesman in Kansas City. "We are excited Vivian Vance's hometown is recognizing her contributions to groundbreaking television."

Vance's relatives, including her second cousins, Imogene Ragan Littell, Jack Ragan and Carolyn Clark, will make a presentation along with Postmaster Daniel Wishall at 10 a.m. Tuesday at 309 W. Sixth St. in Cherryvale.

Although Vance was born in Cherryvale, when she was six, her family moved to Independence. After graduating from the Independence High School, Vivian changed her last name to Vance and moved to Tulsa to find work as an actress.

She soon developed a successful Broadway career and, in 1951, was tapped by Desi Arnaz as "Ethel" for the "I Love Lucy" show.

Playing second fiddle to Lucille Ball in the series, Vance was Ethel Mertz — a frumpy housewife and landlord to Ball's zany Lucy.

Together they would create some of television's most memorable comic moments.

Take, for example, the time Ethel and Lucy decide to work on an assembly line at Kramer's Kandy Kitchen: The chocolates keep coming and coming, and both of them end up stuffing chocolates in their hats, blouses and mouths.

Vance was so good as Ethel that in 1954 she was awarded an Emmy for best supporting actress. She was nominated in 1955, 1957 and 1958 in the same category.

In 1991, "I Love Lucy" was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

The show debuted Oct. 15, 1951. The series continued until May 6, 1957.

By then, "I Love Lucy" had become an American icon. Today, the show is still seen in reruns around the world.

August 08, 2009

Lucille Ball Statue Unveiled in Lucille Ball Memorial Park

The Post Journal, Jamestown, NY: CELORON - It was with wild applause and cheering that Lucille Ball's birthday celebration kicked off Friday morning with the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of the First Lady of Comedy.

The opening ceremonies were, for the first time ever, held at Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron, where Lucille Ball spent her childhood.

The statue is close to a paved walking path and faces the parking lot.

Donated by Celoron residents Mark and Jetta Wilson, the statue was crafted by artist Dave Poulin, who has created more than 100 life-sized bronze figures throughout Jamestown, the United States and the world.

''About 10 years ago, I had a building for sale in downtown Jamestown,'' Wilson said. ''Dave purchased the building and we did some creative financing. He made a statue of Lucille Ball for us as part of his payment and we gratefully accepted. We decided to donate it to the village of Celoron. This has honestly been an ongoing project for years, and we're extremely happy with the end result.''

Mrs. Wilson said she was ''extremely pleased'' with the statue.

''It's just perfect to have a statue of Lucy here in her hometown,'' Mrs. Wilson said. ''We wanted her in the pose from Vitametavegamin - everyone has a picture of that in their minds - and it's just perfect.''

The Wilsons said they were both intrigued and impressed by Poulin.

''Right from the beginning, we were intrigued by his vision, his creativity, his talent and his work ethic,'' Mrs. Wilson said of him. ''He is passionate, strives for excellence and has excellent attention to detail. Those qualities in Dave remind us of Lucy and we hope this statue reminds the world of her and makes this a better place for laughter and love.''

Poulin said he was ''thrilled and humbled'' to be part of bringing Lucille Ball back to her hometown.

''There's always a special feeling I have when, as an artist, I get a chance to make art that connects and resonates with people,'' he said. ''Some projects are just meant to be. I feel blessed to be part of this. To see this come to fruition and actually have a bronze of Lucy in the area is just a thrill.''

The statue was brought to the park on Thursday and installed. A life-sized bronze statue, it weighs 400 pounds and was created in Poulin's studio on East 1st Street.

Poulin said the process begins with a clay model that is turned to bronze through a process called the lost wax process. Through the process, the clay model is dismantled and divided into small sections which are painted with silicone rubber and filled with molten wax. Each wax section is coated with several layers of ceramic and placed in an oven that is pre-heated to 1,800 degrees. That eliminates the wax and leaves the ceramic shell, which is then filled with molten bronze that is as hot as 2,100 degrees.

''Everything for the statue was done locally and she's here in a local park,'' Poulin said. ''To me, that's especially fitting.''

The birthday celebration will be ongoing this weekend with a number of events including a Karaoke Costume Cabaret on Saturday night and special events with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo impersonators. For a full schedule of events, visit www.lucydesi.com.

August 06, 2009

Lucy-Desi Center Names New Director

As reported by The Post-Journal, Jamestown, NY: After months of uncertainty, the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is ready to move toward a future that, by all accounts, looks bright.

The center's future began Monday, when Falconer native Corie Curtis took the helm at the center as its new executive director. Ms. Curtis, who has more than a decade's worth of experience in marketing, strategic planning, event execution, brand identity management and budget development, said the ''timing was absolutely perfect.''

''It's a little ironic,'' she said. ''I was living in Rhode Island in 2002, when an opportunity first became available here at the center. My mother insisted it was the perfect opportunity for me and said she wished I'd move home. But at the time, I liked what I was doing and really didn't want to go anywhere. But this time around, it seemed like everything just lined up and fell into place. I feel much more poised, personally and professionally, to take on this role now as opposed to where I was six years ago.''

Mike LaTone, president of the center's board of directors and its former acting executive director, said he was ''very pleased'' that Ms. Curtis had joined the center. LaTone said hundreds of people from across the country had applied for the position, but said Ms. Curtis was ''the definite standout.''

''There's so much excitement right now from the board and from the employees,'' he said. ''We've got someone in Ms. Curtis who has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. There's so many different directions she'll be going in that it's really hard to characterize it.''

That might be putting it mildly. Less than 48 hours on the job, Ms. Curtis had already put together a lengthy to-do list that included some ''operational fine-tuning,'' an examination of the center's volunteer policy, some ''not-so-glamorous housekeeping things'' to make the center more efficient and cost-effective and time spent more specifically defining the center's overall mission.

''I'm very fortunate to come into something like this,'' she said. ''The house is definitely in order and it's clear to me that this place has been loved for a long time. I think we've got a good, solid team here, a first-class facility and, obviously, an enviable mission. I can't wait to get started.''

Ms. Curtis has spent more than a decade in the hospitality industry and said she wants to bring that focus to the relationships the center has with the community and other organizations it will collaborate with.

''One thing I have learned is that you can't operate in a bubble or be a stand-alone organization,'' she said. ''That's never going to work. Right from the get-go, I am focusing on ways we can leverage our relationships. There is a big focus on tourism in this community and I think it's important for all of the organizations to help one another. It's a win-win for the organizations, for us, and for the community. It's just good business.''

Ms. Curtis holds a degree in advertising and communications from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. In June 1996, she began work as the university's institutional relations coordinator before becoming its director of special events in November 1996. She spent nearly three years as the university's director of advancement relations before moving to Hospitality Wares Inc. in 2005 as its executive director of operations. In 2007, she became the general manager at Invision Products.

For three years until 2008, she served as the volunteer executive director of the Feed Their Dreams Children's Foundations. She has also worked as a member of the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education and, in 2004, served as the fundraising consultant for the Rhode Island Hospitality & Tourism Association's capital campaign.

''We chose Corie because she is a big part of what's going to put us at the level we want to be at,'' LaTone said. ''There are new things we need to do. In the long future, I see her traveling the country to tell people about this center and not only bring them here but bring our mission - the healing powers of love and laughter - to the world. Everything is in place and we're ready to move forward. She has all our support and I hope the community will embrace her, work with her, get behind her and help us make this thing bigger than it ever has been. The future starts now.''

Happy Birthday Lucy

Today is Lucille Ball's birthday, she would have been 98 years old today. Born August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York.

Remembered as a dizzy sitcom redhead with show business aspirations, Lucille Ball was, in fact, a show business powerhouse and television pioneer. Throughout her teen years, Lucy tried unsuccessfully to launch her show business career, finally landing a spot as a Ziegfeld Girl. She launched her Hollywood career as one of the Goldwyn Girls, but she moved out from the crowd of starlets to starring roles. With "I Love Lucy", she and husband Desi Arnaz pioneered the 3-camera technique now the standard in filming TV sitcoms, and the concept of syndicating TV programs. She was also the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu.

She will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their grandparents. Always willing to take responsibility for her brother and young cousins, she was a restless teenager who yearned to "make some noise". She entered a dramatic school in New York, but while her classmate Bette Davis received all the raves, she was sent home; "too shy." She found some work modeling for Hattie Carnegie's, and in 1933 was chosen to be a Goldwyn Girl and appear in the film Roman Scandals (1933).

She was put under contract to RKO and several small roles, including one in Top Hat (1935), followed. Eventually, she received starring roles in B-pictures, and occasionally a good role in an A-picture, like in Stage Door (1937). While filming Too Many Girls (1940), she met and fell madly in love with a young Cuban actor-musician named 'Desi Arnaz'. Despite different personalities, lifestyles, religions, and ages (He was six years younger), he fell hard, too, and after a passionate romance, they eloped and were married in November 30, 1940. Lucy soon switched to MGM, where she got better roles in films such as Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Best Foot Forward (1943), the Hepburn-Tracy vehicle Without Love (1945).

In 1948, she took a starring role in the radio comedy My Favorite Husband, in which she played the scatterbrained wife of a Midwestern banker. In 1950, CBS came knocking with the offer of turning it into a TV series. After convincing the network brass to let Desi play her husband and to sign over the rights to and creative control over the series to them, work began on the most popular and universally beloved sitcom of all time.

After her divorce from Desi on May 4, 1960, she married Gary Morton on November 19, 1961 and was with him until her death. On April 26, 1989, after recovering from surgery to correct cardiopulmonary problems, Lucy died unexpectedly at Cedars-Sinai Hospital of a ruptured aorta.

August 03, 2009

The Cuban and the Redhead,
New Musical About Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

The Cuban and the Redhead, a new musical about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will be presented on Friday, August 14 as part of the Festival of New Musicals, "Village Originals," at Village Theatre where Next to Normal was developed.

The musical about the lives of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz will feature Brandon O'Neill and Nicole Beerman, both regulars at 5th Avenue Theatre, as as the Cuban bandleader and the famous redhead, along with Rebecca Spencer (Phantom of the Opera, Jeckyll & Hyde), Eileen Galindo (House of Bernarda Alba starring Chita Rivera/Mark Taper Forum) and a cast of a dozen other actors under the direction of Kathryn Van meter and musical direction of Jim Fischer. The Cuban and the Redhead features a book and score by Robert Bartley and Danny Whitman and was recently featured in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) festival in the fall of 2008, the Festival of New American Musicals in Los Angeles in July of 2008, and in staged readings in the York Theatre Company.

The plot: Escaping the bloodshed of his native Island, a young Cuban boy sets sail on a turbulent journey that leads him all the way to Hollywood and into the arms of a fiery, redheaded movie star named Lucille Ball. At the climax of The Cuban and the Redhead, Desi and Lucy put their money, their trust and their dreams on the line in a gamble t o save one thing - their marriage. They risk it all on an untested medium called television. Can these two star crossed lovers blaze a path that defies Hollywood and history to be together?

Village Theatre is dedicated to the preservation and artistic development of musical theatre, one of our country's most enduring art forms. Village Originals is a nationally recognized program and represents one of the strongest commitments to new musicals anywhere. Over the years, Village Originals and Village Theatre have nurtured the development of over 75 new musicals - some of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and Taiwan.

For more information, visit www.bartleywhitman.com or www.villagetheatre.org.

July 22, 2009

The Very Brief Reunion of Lucy Ricardo and Fred Mertz

After six seasons on the air, the hugely successful I Love Lucy sitcom ended. The stars had tired of the weekly grind but transitioned to the more expensive The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show specials. A baker’s dozen of those were produced over three years. By the end, the writers had run dry and the marriage of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had fallen apart. The day after the production wrapped, Ball filed for divorce.

Before the show ended, it was proposed that the Mertz’s, played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance, continue in their own spin-off. The two had never liked each other off-screen but Frawley realized that the show could be very lucrative and agreed. Vance didn’t want any part of it and refused.

Sadly, the end of the specials was the last time that the four actors would ever play their iconic characters. Arnaz continued to produce and direct and acted occasionally before eventually retiring. Ball went on to act in three more series, movies, and specials. Vance co-starred on The Lucy Show for three seasons and then did guest shots and commercials after that.

After the end of the Lucy-Desi series of specials, Frawley went directly into a regular role on My Three Sons, playing Fred MacMurray’s gruff father-in-law. Despite the persona of the characters he played, Don Grady and Stanley Livingston have both indicated that he was very warm and affectionate to them off-screen.

Frawley did have his nasty side though and still didn’t care for Vance. It seems that The Lucy Show and My Three Sons were produced on neighboring soundstages. According to a recent interview on Stu’s Show, Grady and Livingston said that Frawley would give them Frisbees and tell them to toss them into the Lucy soundstage, just as Vance was filming a complicated scene.

In 1965, after five seasons on My Three Sons, Frawley was fired. His health had become so poor that it was no longer possible to insure him for the show. The actor wasn’t pleased about being let go and reportedly returned to the set on a regular basis until he was asked to stop. He died on March 3, 1966.

Fittingly, Frawley’s last on-screen appearance came in October 25, 1965 on The Lucy Show. Vance had already left the series and Frawley appears in just a brief cameo with Ball. For one brief moment, it’s like Lucy Ricardo and Fred Mertz are together again.

July 17, 2009

The Lucy Show - First Season DVD - July 21st

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - The wait is over: THE LUCY SHOW is coming to DVD on July 21st! Legendary actress Lucille Ball makes her sidesplitting return to DVD in a pristine remastered format when the official first season of THE LUCY SHOW, starring everyone's favorite redhead arrives on DVD July 21 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.

Over 40 years in the making, THE LUCY SHOW: THE FIRST SEASON includes all 30 laugh-out-loud first season episodes, beautifully remastered and presented here in a 4-disc set. Bursting at the seams with special features, THE LUCY SHOW: THE FIRST SEASON also includes the series' original openings and closings, long-lost cast commercials, flubs, bios, production notes - and exciting new interviews with Lucie Arnaz, who made her acting debut in the series, and show regular Jimmy Garrett.

Two years after the classic "I Love Lucy" ended production; Lucille Ball bounced back in an all-new series that showcased her gift for physical comedy and her chemistry with longtime cohort Vivian Vance. This time around, Lucy plays recently widowed Lucy Carmichael, who shares her suburban New York house with recently divorced Vivian Bagley (Vance). They grapple, as only they can, with the comedic complications of raising children, balancing the budget and surviving without a man around the house. Candy Moore and Jimmy Garrett play Lucy's two children; Ralph Hart plays Vivian's young son.

With much of the same writing and production staff as "I Love Lucy," THE LUCY SHOW was nominated for an Emmy ® for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing Achievement in a Comedy. A huge hit in its own right, the show never dropped out of the Top 10 during its six-year run, and ranked #5 in the Nielsen ratings during its inaugural first season. Ball received four Emmy nominations for her roll in this classic comedy, including two wins for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.


Presented in full screen, with the original opening sequence showing a black and white animated Lucy and Vivian hanging up the letters to form "THE LUCY SHOW", THE LUCY SHOW: THE FIRST SEASON is not rated in the U.S. and rated G in Canada. The total running time is 12 Hrs., 53 Min. The DVD disc breakdown is as follows:

  • Disc 1:
    • Lucy Digs Up A Date
    • Lucy Is A Referee
    • Lucy Misplaces $2,000
    • Lucy Buys A Sheep
    • Lucy Becomes An Astronaut
    • Lucy Is A Kangaroo For A Day
    • Special Features
      • A Message From CBS DVD
      • Special Footage: Seven Wonderful Nights
      • Special Footage: CBS Prom
      • Let's Talk to Lucie
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials and Original Closing

  • Disc 2:
    • Lucy The Music Lover
    • Lucy Puts Up A TV Antenna
    • Vivian Sues Lucy
    • Lucy Builds A Rumpus Room
    • Lucy And Her Electric Mattress
    • Together For Christmas
    • Chris's New Year's Eve Party
    • Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit
    • Special Features
      • CBS Mini-Promo
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials, Original Closing

  • Disc 3:
    • Lucy And Viv Are Volunteer Firemen
    • Lucy Becomes A Reporter
    • Lucy And Viv Put In A Shower
    • Lucy's Barbershop Quartet
    • Lucy And Viv Become Tycoons
    • No More Double Dates
    • Lucy And Viv Learn Judo
    • Lucy Is A Soda Jerk
    • Special Features
      • Promo: Fair Exchange
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials, Original Closing

  • Disc 4:
    • Lucy Drives A Dump Truck
    • Lucy Visits The White House
    • Lucy And Viv Take Up Chemistry
    • Lucy Is A Chaperone
    • Lucy And The Little League
    • Lucy And The Runaway Butterfly
    • Lucy Buys A Boat
    • Special Features
      • GF Opening Night: Staircase Scene
      • GF Opening Night: Dance Sequence
      • Let's Talk to Jimmy
      • Collecting the Memories
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials, Original Closing
CBS Home Entertainment manages the worldwide DVD and Blu-ray businesses for the CBS Corporation across all lines of content including current hits and classic series from the vast CBS library, as well as new releases from Showtime Video.

Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. PHE is responsible for the worldwide sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment products on behalf of various parties including: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Studios, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS, PBS and Hasbro and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.

Be sure you order your copy from the Everything Lucy store! On sale Now!

Lucy and Desi's Home Open for Events

An "Old Hollywood" celebrity home is opening its gates for events.

In April, The Lucy House, once owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, became the second establishment to receive an event-home permit from the city of Palm Springs.

The home, located at 1194 N. Via Miraleste, previously was open for short-term vacation rentals, intimate weddings and small events.

Now property owner Amber Willat and planning director Gina Leslie have plans to expand its use to private and community events.

"It's just one of those old celebrity homes that we're reviving and bringing in, and with that we're bringing back the old stories," Willat said.

The 3,000-square-foot home sits on 3/4

In the 1930s it sat across from the El Mirador Hotel and was frequented by celebrity guests, Leslie said.

The home is built in traditional hacienda style. None of the rooms shares a common hallway. Each room faces out toward the central swimming pool area instead.

In the past two years, Willat and her family have given the house a facelift. They replaced the tile, painted the interior and installed modern appliances.

"When we picked it (the house) up, it was recognized as one of the Lucy homes, but it was in a state that no one could really enjoy," Willat said.

Willat said they have also worked closely with Laura Whittier Fontana and Reno Fontana, the owners of the Elvis Presley estate, through the permit process.

In the future, they would like to connect the two homes with dual events and tours, Willat said.

"We have to give credit to the Fontanas because they worked for five years to pave the way for us," Willat said.

For information about renting actress Lucille Ball's former home for events, go to www.thelucyhouse.com.

July 16, 2009

Lucie Arnaz singing at Old Time Radio Convention

Lucie Arnaz singing at last fall's Friends of Old Time Radio Convention in Newark, NJ:

July 09, 2009

Former Lucille Ball Actress to Perform in Tempe

Former childstar, Jenny Lewis, who played Lucille Ball's granddaughter in Lucy's last fateful sitcom, "Life With Lucy", will be playing in Tempe, Arizona.

Jenny Lewis made her professional acting debut as a kid in a Jell-O commercial prior to played a grandchild to Lucille Ball in her last TV show. More recently she contributed "Barking at the Moon" to Disney's animated dog adventure "Bolt." But, she may be better known for fronting indie darlings Rilo Kiley and launching a solo career in 2006 with a countrified album called "Rabbit Fur Coat." A second, far more raucous solo effort, "Acid Tongue," drew raves from Entertainment Weekly, Alternative Press and Rolling Stone, to name a few, with guest appearances by the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, indie-rock darling M. Ward and Elvis Costello.

She will be performing this coming Saturday, July 11th at 7:30pm at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona. Tickets are $17. Tickets are available at the Marquee box office, Bookmans, Hoodlums, Stinkweeds and on the internet. You can also listen to Jenny Lewis on her MySpace page.

June 30, 2009

The Lucille Ball TV Specials DVD Out Today!

Released today are a couple of Lucille Ball TV Specials on DVD! Two of Lucille Ball's television specials - "Lucy Gets Lucky" and "Three for Two" - on one release. The latter show features three mini comedies and features Jackie Gleason as a co-star. "Lucy Gets Lucky" has Ball playing a star-struck woman who heads to Las Vegas to see her favorite entertainer, Dean Martin.

"Lucy Gets Lucky" which aired on March 1, 1975 features Lucy as Lucy Collins, an avid fan of Dean Martin, who is determined to see her idol perform in concert at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Upon learning the concert is sold out and that Dean Martin is doing a special performance just for hotel employees, Lucy gets herself hired by the hotel. As usual, Lucy causes plenty of trouble along the way, and Dean Martin has to step in and save her, and Las Vegas, from disaster. Dean Martin had previously appeared in an episode of The Lucy Show, "Lucy Dates Dean Martin", which was Lucille Ball's favorite episode.

Lucy Gets Lucky was directed by Jack Donohue who also appeared in the TV Special as Ralph. TV ratings weren't quite what they used to be for Lucille Ball in her final season of Here's Lucy, but they were still substantial enough for Ball to negotiate with CBS and various sponsors, Timex sponsored Lucy Gets Lucky, to produce a series of TV specials where Lucy could work in a longer format. It seemed that Lucy was an undeniable "fact" with audiences; they would love her in anything for as long as she continued to work. The idea behind this TV special featured Lucy within the standard "typical Lucy" comedy formula of stunts and ensuing hilarity.

"Three for Two" which aired on December 3, 1975 was originally broadcast as "A Lucille Ball Special Starring Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason", features Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason, two giants of American TV comedy, combined in this single special which broke down into three separate situations depicting marital crises. In the first, Herb and Sally, Lucy and Jackie Gleason are a couple seeking to restore excitement in their marriage, they discover truths about one another after 24 years of marriage in a trip to Rome; in the second, Fred and Rita, they play a couple involved in adultery trying to decide whether they should tell their spouses; in the final situation, Mike and Pauline, Lucy and Jackie play a couple involved in a Christmas family crisis as over-dominating parents forced to realize their children's independence. Lucy previously worked with Jackie Gleason in the Here's Lucy episode, "Lucy Visits Jack Benny".

Directed by Charles Walters, "Three for Two" was inspired by stories written by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor, "Lovers and Other Strangers, Made for Each Other". In this special, we see a more dramatic Lucy instead of the zany antics we have come to expect. A more serious mode for both Gleason and Lucy appear in all three vignettes in this TV special.

The DVD:
Considering the age and relative obscurity of these two specials from the 1970s, the full-screen, 1.33:1 transfers for The Lucille Ball Specials: Lucy Gets Lucky & Three for Two look quite nice. Shot on film, the source materials used for these transfers look quite clean, with minimal damage and correct color. Overall, these probably look better than they did coming over most folks TV antennas back in 1975.

Some interesting extras are included on the DVD. First is a black and white clip from Art Linkletter's long-running daytime variety show, House Party, where Lucy shows up to discuss her new radio series, Lets Talk to Lucy, before Lucy and Art enact a comedy sketch where Lucy produces some wacky sound effects for a radio program. It's from 1965, and the clip runs 10:51. Next are two "visually enhanced" episodes from Lucy's Let's Talk to Lucy radio series, where stills, expertly produced, are animated over the radio programs' audio track. First is Episode #5, from 1964, where guest Dean Martin discusses a variety of projects he has coming up, including his smash single, Everybody Loves Somebody, Kiss Me, Stupid, and Robin and the 7 Hoods. This clip runs 11:29. Next, Lucy visits Dean again on the set of Marriage on the Rocks, in Episode #195 of her radio series, where Dean again smoothly discusses his career. This clip runs 9:03. Next, we have a featurette with the marvelous comedic actor Gino Conforti discussing his long association with Lucy. We even get to see a snippet of Lucy's first and only credited directorial effort (according to Conforti): the unsold pilot for Bungle Abbey, which co-starred Conforti. Conforti is effusive in his praise for Ball, and he has some fascinating insights into the actress. The featurette runs 14:09. Finally, we have some outtakes and bloopers from Lucy Gets Lucky that run 5:42.

Be sure to order your copy from the Everything Lucy Store to help us keep all the Lucille Ball news and up-to-date information coming your way!

Read more about all of the other Lucille Ball TV Specials on Everything Lucy! If you are interested in any of these on DVD, be sure to contact Everything Lucy!

June 26, 2009

Lucille Ball Honored on New Stamp

The US Postal Service will release 20 postage stamps on August 11 honoring early TV icons such as Rod Serling, The Lone Ranger, Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Alfred Hitchcock, George Burns & Gracie Allen, and the Honeymooners, among others.

A special ceremony will be held in Hollywood to mark the launch of the commemorative series collectively known as "Early TV Memories". The U.S. Postal Service plans to dedicate the set of "Early TV Memories" commemoratives at 10:30 a.m. PT on the release date, August 11th at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, California.

The event will be free and open to the public. Each stamp will have a 42-cent value.

The set consists of stamps depicting (as seen in order below) Milton Berle; I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance; Red Skelton; puppet Howdy Doody; Dragnet star Jack Webb; Lassie; William Boyd, aka Hopalong Cassidy, and his horse Topper; You Bet Your Life host Groucho Marx; Dinah Shore; Ed Sullivan; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Phil Silvers; The Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore) and his horse Silver; Perry Mason star Raymond Burr; Alfred Hitchcock; George Burns and Gracie Allen; Ozzie and Harriet Nelson; Steve Allen; Rod Serling; and "The Honeymooners" stars Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.

June 08, 2009

Lucie Arnaz Closes Landmark's Season on June 20th

In Port Washington, NY, Landmark Theater's 2008-09 Season ends on Saturday, June 20 at 8 PM with a night of favorite songs sung by a legendary performer - Lucie Arnaz. The Broadway and Cabaret Series is sponsored by Susan Isaacs & Elkan Abramowitz, Jane & Marty Schwartz, and Dot & Ed Slade with additional sponsorship for this performance by Jennifer & David Rimmer.

The daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz's career on Broadway ("They're Playing Our Song," "Cabaret," "L'il Abner," and "Once Upon a Mattress," among others) prepared her well for her own show full of standards and nostalgia - including a very touching tribute to her father. Perfect for Father's Day weekend!

Look for Lucie on June 7 as one of the 2009 Tony Award presenters - then come see her for yourself in Port Washington!

Tickets are $55/$50 (with discounts for Friends of Landmark) and can be purchased by calling 516-767-6444 or visiting www.landmarkonmainstreet.org.

One Laugh Changed Carol Burnett's Life

A great story from thestar.com on Carol Burnett. The star of TV and stage is appearing Friday night at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada for an evening called Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett, but she was already sharing both those qualities in a recent conversation.

The Carol Burnett Show is the last — and many still say the greatest — of all the classic TV variety shows. Carol Burnett and her show won 23 Emmys, staying popular until it finally went off the air after 11 seasons.

FIVE FAVES: CLASSIC MOMENTS FROM THE SHOW

1. "Tim (Conway) and Harvey (Korman) were always great together, but I'll never forget one sketch where Tim was a new dentist and Harvey was his first patient."

2. "Oh Lord, the Gone with the Wind parody. Coming down the stairs wearing the dress made out of curtains with the rod still in them. That was (costume designer) Bob Mackie's idea."

3. "I loved all the little mini one-act plays about `the family' with me as Eunice and Vicki (Lawrence) as Mama. Originally, everyone thought the roles should be reversed, but I think it worked out better the way we did it."

4. "Parodies made me happy. Like when we did Lovely Story instead of Love Story. I played a woman who only had five minutes to live. Harvey asked me if I wanted something to eat. I said `I'd love a four-minute egg.'"

5. "It was fun doing those backstage takeoffs of the old Betty Grable movie musicals. You know, the kind where we were a showbiz couple and they only wanted one of us and we got into such a horrible fight they wound up taking neither of us."

Carol Burnett's versatility is one of her great strengths. Few other women, past and present, share her skill set. Lucille Ball was Burnett's idol and a lifelong mentor. The woman who went from daffy 1940s movies to TV's I Love Lucy also did Broadway musicals (Wildcat), film musicals (Mame) and dramas such as What Now, Catherine Curtis?

Read the complete interview with Carol Burnett at The Star.

June 04, 2009

Lucy-Desi Center Looks to Brighter Days


News arrived from Mary Rapaport who used to be on the board of the Lucy-Desi Center about the turn around of The Center and our need to support them during this time and help to rebuild and heal.

In May of 2007, concerns were raised about unethical business practices at The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center. It became evident that several things happening at the Center did not reflect the high standards that the organization upholds. It was at that time that many employees called upon then-board member Mary Rapaport for help. Mrs. Rapaport and Lucie Arnaz worked to investigate the situation and resolve issues at The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center.

The ensuing two-year struggle culminated with the firing of the executive director and the subsequent resolution of issues stemming directly thereof. The road to recovery has been long and difficult.

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Rapaport spoke with Mr. Latone (President of the Lucy-Desi Center's Board of Directors) extensively regarding the future of The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center. Mr. Latone answered every question directly and honestly, regardless of implication. Mr. Latone and his board of directors have developed a viable business plan for the Center, which will hold the Lucy-Desi Center solidly to the course. For the first time, the Lucy-Desi Center is on the right course!

Lucie Arnaz's appearance in Jamestown last week was a much-needed affirmation that the Center has indeed entered a new era, and that healing has truly begun. Her final song spoke to everyone, as she imparted the need to overlook the differences and begin the healing process.

Great strides have been made to ensure that The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center is solidly on-track. While not every issue has been fully resolved, it is clear with absolute certainty that every issue has been addressed.

As a result of these difficult financial times, coupled with the strain weathered by these past struggles, the Center is in dire financial condition. In fact, without everyones' support, it is a very strong possibility that The Lucy-Desi Center may very well close its doors permanently. However, if we act now, we can save The Center from this unfortunate fate.

With that said, we are challenging all Lucy-Desi supporters and fans to step up to the plate and give your full support to The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center. We ask for all supporters and fans to renew their memberships, and to encourage others to join. We encourage all fans to resume shopping at the gift shop, and start visiting the center as much as possible. Perhaps most importantly, we ask that fans and friends overcome their differences and come together once again to support the place that brought them together initially. The time has come to stay focused, to stay positive, and to look forward.

Please join us in rebuilding this great organization that heals through love and laughter, while celebrating the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

To join The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz center, please visit their membership page or visit The Lucy-Desi Center for more information and inquire how you can donate or help out in any way.

May 22, 2009

Here's Lucy Season 1 DVD Set Coming!

As we have previously mentioned on Everything Lucy, the 3rd hit comedy series of Lucille Ball, Here's Lucy will be available on August 25th!

The legendary queen of television comedy, Lucille Ball, is joined by her real-life children in her third long-running sitcom success. Ball plays Lucille Carter, widowed mother of teenagers Kim and Craig, portrayed by Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. Lucy works for her brother-in-law, played by Gale Gordon, who owns Carter's Unique Employment Agency, leading Lucy into endless predicaments and hilarious hijinks.

This complete first season of Here's Lucy (1968-74, CBS-TV) features all 24 color episodes of the 1968-69 season, uncut and digitally remastered from the original 35mm color negatives for superior quality plus a wealth of new and never-before-seen bonus features. The bonus are still being finalized but they will include new videotaped interviews, and introductions, with Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. Guest stars include Vivian Vance, Carol Burnett, Cesar Romero, Eva Gabor, Wally Cox, Howard Keel, Van Johnson, Shelley Winters, Jack Benny, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Wayne Newton, Jackie Gleason, Mary Wickes and Victor Buono.

Be sure to pre-order your copy of "Here's Lucy Season 1 DVD Set" from our Everything Lucy store!

May 15, 2009

Lucy-Desi Days Festival

Although as previously reported about the Lucy-Desi Center Giftshop closing or more rather a consolidation due to these economic times, the Lucy-Desi Festival will feature many highlights.

The Lucy-Desi Festival will be held in Jamestown, NY next weekend, May 22nd to 24th. Among the activities planned for this three-day annual festival:

•Lucie Arnaz: "An Evening with Lucie Arnaz" - a special fundraiser for the Lucy-Desi Center being held at the historic Reg Lenna Civic Center (Tickets $25)

•Komedy Kollege - Directed by Diane Vincent (Lucy Ricardo), recreate one of three "I Love Lucy" episodes, Job Switching, Lucy Does a TV Commerical, and Lucy's Italian Movie. (Tickets $20 includes a Lucy-Desi T-shirt)

•Legend event with Keith Thibodeaux - Meet Keith Thibodeaux, the actor who played Little Ricky. Each ticket holder will have their photo taken with Keith on the Ricardo's living room set. Breakfast will follow wtih a Q&A session with Keith. This is your chance to hear his memories personally from working on "I Love Lucy". This event is hosted by Tom Watson. (Tickets $100)

•Trivia Contest - Randomly selected audience members will have a chance to prove their Lucy-Desi knowlege. Prize baskets awarded to winners! (Tickets $10)

•The Unexpected Guests - Jamestown's own highly-acclaimed improv group pays tribtue to America's First Couple of Comedy. (Tickets $10)

•"America Alive" TV Interview with Lucille Ball - a rarely seen 70s TV show that paid tribute and interviewed Lucille Ball. Co-hosted by Wanda Clark, Lucille Ball's longtime personal secretary and Michael Stern, proclaimed by Lucy as her number one fan. (Tickets $15)

•Orson Wells & Desilu Studios - Enjoy screenings of rare TV episodes featuring Lucy and Orson Wells together. Followed by discussions lead by Tom Watson and Dann Cahn. (Tickets $15)

•Lucy Town Tours: A two-hour video-enhanced tour of Lucy's hometown with a special mystery guest aboard an air-conditioned bus (Tickets $20 includes memento)

•Fan Reunion Cruise aboard The Summer Wind - hosted by Wanda Clark, Michael Stern, and John Schillner on beautiful Lake Chautauqua. Boards in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celeron, just outside Jamestown. Limited seating. (Tickets $50)

•Tropicana Luncheon: "Fountain of Youth" - Have lunch in The Tropicana Room as you view a rarely seen TV piolot created by Orson Wells and Desilu Studios. Hosted by Dann Cahn and Tom Watson (Tickets $25)

•Lucy Under the Stars - Enjoy an outdoor screenings of "I Love Lucy" episodes. Popcorn and beverages available for purchase. (Free event)

•Film Festival "Life With Lucy" - View three rarely seen episodes from Lucy's final TV series. Co-hosted by Michael Stern and Wanda Clark (Tickets $10)

For a complete schedule of events for the Lucy Desi Festival, click here!

For more information, go online to www.lucy-desi.com.

May 14, 2009

Lucy Desi Center to Close Gift Shop

As reported in the Jamestown Post-Journal: The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center has announced plans to close the gift shop and sell the building, which is located on the corner of North Main and Third streets. All of the gift shop’s inventory has been moved to the nearby Desilu Playhouse and the Lucy-Desi Museum & Gift Shop. Photo by Kristen Johnson.

Necessity and a sour economy have forced the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center to close its gift shop.

Last month, all of the inventory from the gift shop, which is located at 300 N. Main St., was moved to the Lucy-Desi Museum and Gift Shop and the Desilu Playhouse, both of which are located on West Third Street.

"Essentially, everything that was in the gift shop was already in the playhouse and the museum, so we felt (the gift shop) was redundant," said Mike LaTone, president of the center's Board of Directors. "We decided to consolidate. It just doesn't make sense to operate out of three locations for a lot of reasons."

LaTone said eventually, the center plans to sell the gift shop building. During a board of directors meeting set for today, LaTone said board members would decide whether they want to list the building and determine its selling price.

One way or the other, LaTone said the center "really can't afford to keep" the gift shop building - primarily because operating out of three buildings "doesn't make a lot of sense." And it makes even less sense, LaTone said, to take customers through the playhouse and museum only to send them across a busy thoroughfare in order to purchase collectibles and other items.

Even so, LaTone said he is reluctant to sell the building.

"Nobody wants to give up property - especially in a downtown area - but the fact is that we've got to change," he said. "It just doesn't make sense to keep doing things the way we've been doing them. I would honestly rather rent the building. A tenant paying $1,200 to $1,500 a month would really help our cash flow."

LaTone said he has already shown the gift shop building to "a couple" of prospective buyers, but he hasn't had any bites just yet.

Two part-time employees have been brought back, LaTone said, and are working at the museum and playhouse. There's also a person staffing the center's mail-order operation, which is currently housed in the gift shop building. After the Lucy-Desi Days festival later this month, LaTone said the mail-order operation would be moved to the playhouse.

"It's a decision made out of necessity and made because the economy isn't really great right now," he said. "To be honest with you, I don't see this as a bad thing at all. It's just another decision - a hard one - that we had to make in order to keep the center that we all love up and running. That's all."

Closing and selling the gift shop is just the latest in a string of decisions the center's Board of Directors has had to make in recent months as it tries to deal with a financial situation LaTone has called "fragile" and move in new directions. Several employees have been laid off and hours at the gift shop, museum and playhouse were recently reduced as part of the board's efforts to trim expenses to keep the center open. In addition, the terms of three former board members - Bill Daly, Caroline Seymour and Chuck Ludwig - recently expired and the center is working on filling those seats.

Center officials are also waiting to announce the hire of a new executive director, an announcement that LaTone has said is "just waiting for the right time."

"I think there's a lot of good stuff going on," he said. "In spite of some of the decisions we've had to make, I still think we're doing the right things. Change is hard, sometimes, but our ultimate goal is protecting the center and making it stable and profitable for years to come."

May 04, 2009

Lucille Ball’s Daughter To Headline Celebration

As reported in the Jamestown Post-Journal:

Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will return to Jamestown next month to perform during the Lucy-Desi Days celebration.

"It's always nice to come back to Jamestown, especially in the spring when the dogwoods and the lilacs are in bloom," she said. "I'm very excited to come back (this) month."

Mrs. Luckinbill will perform an hour-long show at the Reg Lenna Civic Center on Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. as part of a fundraising event aimed at helping the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center overcome some of the financial challenges it has faced due to the rough economy. All tickets will be $25 and may be ordered by calling 484-0800 ext. 203. The performance will be followed by a separate fundraising gala reception for those who would like to meet Mrs. Luckinbill in person. Cost is $100 per ticket.

Libby Nord, the center's creative director, called Mrs. Luckinbill an "accomplished performer with a wry sense of humor and a talent for putting the right emotion into every song she sings."

"As we celebrate the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the presence of their daughter makes the weekend even more special," Nord said.

Mrs. Luckinbill has performed during the Lucy-Desi Days celebration in years past. She said recently she is "really looking forward" to performing in Jamestown again.

"I love singing - it's such a charge to sing with the big band," she said. "Last time I performed, we did a Latin show as a tribute to my father. But this time, it's not a tribute to anyone - it's just great music and some songs I've fallen in love with. I'm so happy to come back and sing to help the center out."

Mrs. Luckinbill said she fully supports the center's new board of directors as they work to overcome what board chairman Mike LaTone has called a "fragile financial time."

"They've got some great people on the board right now and I think they're really going in great directions," she said. "As far as Desi and I are concerned, things are the same as they ever were. We've got very high hopes for the center and the direction its going in."

Other special guests at the festival will include Keith Thibodeaux, who played Little Ricky; Dan Cahn, film editor for the "I Love Lucy" show; Wanda Clark, Lucille Ball's personal secretary; and Tom Watson, founder and president of the "I Love Lucy" fan club.

The festival will run from May 22 to May 24. Among other things, it will include a two-hour video enhanced bus tour of Lucille Ball's hometown, screenings of rarely seen episodes from her final television series, outdoor screenings of 'I Love Lucy' episodes, a fan reunion cruise aboard Summer Wind on Chautauqua Lake and a screening of a 1978 interview with Lucille Ball.

For more information about the festival, call 484-0800. A full schedule of events is available online at www.lucy-desi.com.

April 20, 2009

The Lucy Show - The Official First Season DVD


It's coming - The Lucy Show on DVD! Finally after years of waiting, CBS DVD made the formal announcement of the release of "The Lucy Show - The Official First Season". Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, the DVD will be in stores on July 21st!

The first season DVD will contain all 30 episodes from the first season which has been remastered from the original film negatives. It will also include a new interview by Lucie Arnaz (Lucille Ball's daughter) and rare commercial footage from the show! Also CBS will include a special message to Lucy fans on the extraordinary demand for this show in the form of animated characters of Lucille and Vivian.

The first season is presented in full screen black&white as it was originally shown. The show did not start begin filming in color until the next season. It will also be able to be presented in closed captioned for the hearing impaired. In the first season, Dick Martin of "Martin & Rowan's Laugh-In" is a recurring character including guest appearances of Lucy's children, Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lucie Arnaz; Charles Lane from "Petticoat Junction", Nancy Kulp from "The Beverly Hillbillies" among others. Gale Gordon was not in the first season as he was still starring in his show, "Dennis the Menace" at the time.



The studio description and Fan Message of the release: "After the death of her husband, Lucy Carmichael (Lucille Ball) and her friend, the recently divorced Vivian Bagley (Vivian Vance), move into a house together with their children. The series follows the adventures of the widow Lucy as she grapples with the comic complications of life on her own."

"We are delighted to be bringing you THE LUCY SHOW. Seldom in our history have we received so many requests to release a television program on DVD.

But that's not so surprising: It stars the First Lady of television comedy, Lucille Ball, with her longtime sidekick, Vivian Vance, in all new laugh-filled adventures. Plus the episodes were written and produced by many of the same creative team as I LOVE LUCY.

We recognize how much you, the fans, love classic tv...and so do we. All 30 episodes from this first season have been beautifully remastered from original film negatives and are presented here with a long list of extras.

Many thanks to all who contacted us and please enjoy THE LUCY SHOW Season 1 on DVD...Again and Again."


Be sure to visit the Everything Lucy store to order your copy from the Featured Products!

Help Support this Lucy Blog - Shop Amazon