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.

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