July 30, 2008

Picnic Slated For Lucy’s Birthday Celebration

Posted on The Post-Journal website, Lucille Ball was always involved in the annual company picnic for Desilu Studios employees and their families. A highlight of Lucy’s Birthday Celebration will be Sunday’s Fan Reunion and Picnic with special guest Wanda Clark, Lucy’s personal secretary.

Since the annual company picnic for Desilu Productions employees and their families was such an important part of the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, it's only natural when their fans gather that a picnic would be in order.

The American Legion Post 777 near Celoron - Ball lived during much of her childhood - will be the site for the Lucy-Desi Fan Reunion and Picnic during Lucy's Birthday Celebration, Friday through Sunday.

Wanda Clark was Ball's personal secretary for more than 25 years. She will share rare photographs from the Lucy-Desi Center archives during the event beginning at 11:30 a.m., Sunday.

The Lucy-Desi Fan Reunion will be an opportunity to learn more about the Queen of Comedy from someone who played a unique role in her life. A founding board member of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, Ms. Clark is traveling from her home in Oklahoma for the gathering of fans from across the country.

Giftwear manufacturer All-U is providing more than $500 in door prizes for the event sponsored by Quality Markets. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Celoron's Desi Arnaz Band Shell that was dedicated in the spring of 2007.

For more information or to order tickets for Festival events, call 484-0800 or visit online at www.lucy-desi.com. The Lucy-Desi Museum at 212 Pine St., Lucy-Desi Gift Shop at 300 N. Main St., and Desilu Playhouse at 2 W. Third St. - all in downtown Jamestown - are open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Lucille Ball’s Hometown to Host Festival August 1-3

Jamestown, NY - Final plans are taking shape for Lucille Ball's birthday celebration in Jamestown, New York this coming weekend. A lot of planning goes into presenting more than 40 events during a three-day weekend festival - especially when you’re also opening a brand-new museum!

The walls have been built and painted, the carpet installed, the multiple video screens programmed, Lucy’s Mercedes put in place, and exhibits are currently being readied, so the new Lucy-Desi Museum at 10 West Third Street in downtown Jamestown, New York, will be ready to open for Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration this weekend, August 1-3.

Visitors from the more than 20 states and Canada are packing and making their travel plans to enjoy the festival with its more than 40 planned events. And the weekend’s celebrity guests are looking forward to their visit to the Queen of Comedy’s hometown as well.

As Ruta Lee, Hollywood Walk of Fame actress who is the weekend’s headliner, said from her home in southern California, "I look forward to reliving my life with Lucy and sharing the love and laughter with all her friends and fans!" Advertising Advantage & Eagle Systems are sponsoring Saturday night’s 8 pm "I Remember Lucy: An Evening with Ruta Lee" in the Reg Lenna Civic Center in downtown Jamestown. Tickets are still available for the gala reception that follows.

And what would a festival celebrating Lucille Ball be without lots of "Lucy"!

There will be two film fests on the big screen in the Civic Center, the former Palace Theatre where a young Lucy watched vaudeville with her grandfather on Saturday afternoons. Three seldom-seen episodes of The Lucy Show, the Queen of Comedy’s long-running 1960s television series, will be shown at 3:30 on Friday afternoon, August 1. At 4:30 Saturday afternoon three back-to-back episodes of Life With Lucy, her final television series, will be screened, including the last episode that was filmed but never aired.

Weather permitting, "Lucy Under the Stars" will offer free outdoor movies on the corner of Third and Pine Streets at 9:45 on Friday and Saturday nights. Popcorn and soda will be available.

For live comedy entertainment, you can’t beat The Unexpected Guests, Jamestown’s own comedy improv troupe! Jane Fischer, Gary Peters, Jr., and Tim Smeal will lead the group, offering their improvisational sketches at 9:30 pm on Friday, August 1, in the Tropicana Room above the Desilu Playhouse (the "I Love Lucy" museum) at 2 W. 3rd Street in downtown Jamestown. Opening the show will be John Schillner, a popular host at Lucy-Desi festival events. The Unexpected Guests will perform in zany "Lucy" ways, while John offers his own unique style of humor. For additional information on these and the many other events during Lucy's Birthday Celebration, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Museum & Gift Shop, 300 North Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701, (716)-484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or online at www.lucy-desi.com. Hours for the Lucy-Desi Museum, Desilu Playhouse, and Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 pm on Sundays.

July 24, 2008

Ruta Lee Plans Visit to Lucille Ball's Birthday Celebration in Jamestown

Jamestown, NY - In 1955, a group of talented young Hollywood stars wanted to change the image that actors and entertainers just partied, married and divorced. Their mission became "to achieve better mental health for our community and the world at large," and they called themselves "The Thalians," after the Goddess of Comedy, Thalia. The Thalians have raised over $30,000,000, and they support treatment of those afflicted with mental and psychological illnesses and diseases through The Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

For many years Hollywood Walk of Fame actresses Ruta Lee and Debbie Reynolds have alternated the responsibilities of President and Chairman of the Board for The Thalians, with Ms. Lee the current Chairman. This year they will be honoring Clint Eastwood as "Mr. Wonderful."

In 1974 Lucille Ball was the first "Mrs. Wonderful" that they honored!

But it's not just Ruta Lee's long-time charitable connection with The Queen of Comedy that brings her to Jamestown, New York, for Lucille Ball's Birthday Celebration, August 1-3: it's her appearances on The Lucy Show and Lucy Moves to NBC.

Lee's extensive acting credentials include numerous movies (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Witness for the Prosecution, Anything Goes) and television appearances on series including The Andy Griffith Show, The Flying Nun, Mork & Mindy, Love Boat, Vega$, Murder She Wrote, and Roseanne.

On Saturday evening, August 2, in the Reg Lenna Civic Center in downtown Jamestown, the audience will hear Ruta Lee's memories of working with The Queen of Comedy, be able to pose questions to her, and enjoy a screening of her appearance in The Lucy Show episode, "Lucy's Substitute Secretary." The 8 pm event is sponsored by Advertising Advantage and Eagle Systems.

Immediately following "I Remember Lucy: An Evening with Ruta Lee," a limited admission gala reception will take place, giving fans an opportunity to meet Ms. Lee while enjoying live music and refreshments.

For more information and tickets to the theatre event and gala, call or visit the Lucy-Desi Center Gift Shop, 300 North Main Street, Jamestown, NY 14701, (716) 484-0800 (toll-free: 1-877-LUCY-FAN) or order online at www.lucy-desi.com. The Lucy-Desi Museum at 212 Pine Street, the Desilu Playhouse at 2 W. Third Street, and the Gift Shop are open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

July 20, 2008

"Little Ricky" featured in American Profile Magazine

Keith Thibodeaux, who played Little Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy is featured in American Profile.

“I never wanted to be a child star. That was in my favor. I just wanted to play music,” Thibodeaux says. “The best thing that ever happened to me was becoming a believer in Jesus. If I said any other thing was the reason I didn’t turn out (badly), I’d be lying.

“The gift of laughter is the legacy of Lucy and Desi, and I am grateful to have played a small part in that.”

Read more of the story at American Profile and view Keith Thibodeaux's biography on Everything Lucy.

1993 Lucy and Desi Documentary Featured with Lucie Arnaz

On July 10th, as reported by The Greenwich Time, The Ridgefield Playhouse Film Society showed the film as part of its Lost and Found series, afterward featuring a Q&A with Lucie Arnaz.

After her mother died, CBS aired what Arnaz called a "tabloidesque" and "trashy" piece about Ball's life. Arnaz didn't want that to be the last word.

"I thought, damn, that can't be the last thing in people's minds or mouths. If (CBS) hadn't done that maybe I'd have just gone on about my business and mourned like everybody else. But it lit a fire under me that made me want to dig deeper, find out more.

"I was on my own search for who this woman was and who this man was. I was trying to figure out why I was the 40-year-old mother that I was. Why I did the things I did in my life."

Read more of the story at The Greenwich Time.

July 15, 2008

Shirley Mitchell on Internet Radio

Veteran character actress Shirley Mitchell (Lucy Ricardo's friend Marion Strong) will visit host Stu Shostak live this Wednesday, July 16 on "Stu's Show", the signature program on Shokus Internet Radio.

In addition to discussing the work Shirley did with our favorite redhead, she'll also talk about her long career in both radio and television, appearing on radio in "Fibber McGee and Molly", "The Great Gildersleeve", and "Amos 'n' Andy", and on television in such classics as "Make Room for Daddy", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "Three's Company", "The Jack Benny Program", and of course, "I Love Lucy". Listeners can also call in with their questions toll-free during the broadcast at (888) SHOKUS-5.

"Stu's Show" airs live each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PDT on ShokusInternet Radio, with rebroadcasts at the same time daily. Access to the station's feed is free, with no registration required, and is available either by clicking on the ENTER SITE button on the home page, by choosing one of the audio player links on the main page or via Itunes by selecting Radio/Eclectic and then locating the station's name alphabetically in the list.

Shokus Internet Radio is a service of Shokus Video, and is "TV on the radio for baby boomers", with live call-in talk shows featuring TV celebrities, interactive telephone game shows, classic stand-up comedy from the great comedians, and big band, easy listening, and 50s/60s golden hits during the morning and afternoon drive times.