March 26, 2009

The Lucy Show DVD Series - Season 1

As reported previously, "The Lucy Show - The 1st Season" would be coming to DVD from CBS/Paramount sometime this Spring 2009 but is now more likely to be released in late July to Early August timeframe. CBS DVD and Paramount Home Entertainment needed a bit more time to finalize the package. No exact retail release date has been finalized as of yet.

Also, as reported on the Everything Lucy Blog, MPI Home Video is also working on DVDs (in season sets) for Here's Lucy! That will probably be later in the Summer, though, after the June 30th release of the Lucy Specials double-feature, Lucy Gets Lucky featuring Dean Martin and Three For Two featuring Jackie Gleason.

Stay tuned for more great Lucy DVD News!

March 08, 2009

Lucie Arnaz Performs at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona, PA

From my hometown newspaper, The Altoona Mirror Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Lucille Ball performed at the Mishler Theatre for an annual arts gala benefit.

On the eve of its biggest fundraiser, the Mishler Theatre found a supporter in Lucie Arnaz.

Arnaz, daughter of the legendary Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, performed Saturday night at the theater in downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania as part of the Blair County Arts Foundation's annual gala event, "A Night for the Mishler Theatre."

"I don't do a lot of benefits, and I don't think we've ever done a benefit for a theater like this," Arnaz said after the show. "You just don't find places like this. ... It really and truly is a jewel box, and to think it was almost razed a few years ago to put in a parking lot is just unconscionable. So few places like this exist."

The performance was organized in part by Dr. John Anastasi of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of Altoona. Anastasi met Arnaz through his playwrighting ventures, and the two became friends.

"We see each other occasionally, and we brought her husband, actor/writer Laurence Luckinbill, to have a heart catheterization in Altoona," Anastasi said.

"BCAF executive director, Kate Shaffer said they needed someone to perform for the fundraiser, and I'd seen her show in New York, so I said, 'How about Lucie Arnaz?'"

Arnaz performed a variety of songs, including the title number "They're Playing Our Song" and "Just a Housewife" from the musical "Working."

She sang a compilation of "I Still Believe in Love" and "Always" in front of a clip show of photos from throughout her life, with her parents at her wedding, her parents with her children and several shots of her with Luckinbill.

"When you think of the lyrics to the song ... sometimes things happen, and other things happen on top of that, and the cycle goes on," Arnaz said. "When you have your doubts, it's good to look back and see what baggage you're carrying."

The performance followed a dinner at the Discovery Center in Altoona, where the Blair County Arts Foundation honored the 2009 Angel of the Arts, Ellen Lambert of Duncansville. Lambert received the award in honor of her work with BCAF's "Sparkle School of the Arts," a theater program for children.

Lambert's niece, Sparkle alumna Anna Jubala, 17, presented her with the award.

"It's a wonderful, unbelievable feeling to be thanked for doing something I just love doing," Lambert said.

Economic woes didn't deter the annual event, which is in its fifth year. Shaffer said numbers were up from last year. She estimated 150 people attended the dinner and 325 saw Arnaz's performance, although she wouldn't have exact figures until later this week.

"It's been a wonderful, delightful evening," Shaffer said. "It surpassed all my expectations. You can just tell Lucie Arnaz loves to perform. She's as sweet as she is talented."

Play pays tribute to Lucille Ball

As reported in The Las Vegas Sun:

The nationwide tour of "An Evening with Lucille Ball" kicks off at the historic Boulder City Theater April 10 and 11 with brassy impersonator Suzanne LaRusch portraying the redhead comedic star.

Fittingly, the show is directed and hosted by Ball's children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. Desi Arnaz Jr. lives in Boulder City and owns the Boulder City Theater, 1225 Arizona St. Lucie Arnaz directs LaRusch in the two-hour play, which is at 7 p.m. April 10 and 4 p.m. April 11.

LaRusch has impersonated the star of the 1950s "I Love Lucy" sitcom for about 15 years and is longtime friends of the Arnaz family.

"When (Lucie Arnaz) first saw me, her mother had not been gone too long," LaRusch said from her home in Burbank, Calif. "She reacted like she was shocked. It took her breath away."

During the performances, Desi Arnaz Jr. will be working the spotlight. At one point, he will act as the "spotlight character" for LaRusch, who does a pantomime with the spotlight.

Another highlight of the play, she said, is a question-and-answer segment. The pre-recorded questions were voiced by Arnaz family members and those who were close to the star, such as a former writer for the sitcom.

LaRusch, portraying the famed actress, reminisces about her career, including her years as Lucy Ricardo.

"It will all start in Boulder City and will travel for as long as I can keep it going," she said.

Amy Arnaz, wife of Desi Arnaz Jr., said the show is a sentimental comedy.

Sale of the $30 show tickets benefits the Boulder City Ballet Co., a nonprofit organization that receives funding through shows staged at the theater. Amy Arnaz is ballet director.

For more information, call 293-1161 or go online to

Lucy-Desi Center Looking Ahead

Mike LaTone speaks to The Post Journal, Jamestown, NY about the future outlook of The Lucy-Desi Center.

"Considering everything that has happened in the world and with our own economy, both in Jamestown and America, I'm looking at the positive side of things," he said. "(The center) recently got a nice gift basket from Lucie (Arnaz Luckinbill) and Desi (Arnaz Jr.) to let us know they support us through the challenging weeks that lie ahead. That meant a lot. I think you can either choose to be positive or get mired down in the negative."

LaTone, who is president of the center's board of directors, said Wednesday afternoon there's a "great deal" going on at the center. In addition to wrapping up a search for a new executive director, he said officials have a short-term plan in place and are working to craft a more long-term plan that will "take the center in very interesting directions."

There are long-term plans being crafted, too. LaTone said the center is in the process of planning festivals in both May and August, events he feels will be 'instrumental' in moving the center and its mission forward.

But the long-term plans don't stop at August, LaTone said. Center officials are working on - among other things - a plan that will make the center 'mobile' and bring its mission to other parts of the country.

"One thing I'd like to see us do is take a part of our display and take it to other parts of the country to tell people, 'Hey, if you're a fan of Lucy and Desi, this is only a taste of what's in Jamestown," LaTone said. "Displaying our treasures in other parts of the country is definitely a goal of ours. We want to give folks a reason to come to Jamestown."

"We're definitely working on some new ideas," he said. "I can't tell you everything, or it wouldn't be a surprise. I think the board members and the staff at the center have come up with some really great ideas that are going to happen. We've got some very creative things coming."