July 25, 2013

I Love Lucy - Live on Stage in Atlantic City

What exactly is I Love Lucy Live on Stage? It’s a play that takes the audience back to the 1950s at the live taping of two episodes of I Love Lucy. And while the two episodes, “The Benefit” and “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined,” are the centerpiece of the play, it is the overall format of an audience watching a TV taping that gives the show its added punch.

In many ways the star of the show is Mark Christopher Tracy as Maury Jasper, the Desilu Playhouse host. He is the genial ringmaster with a headphone who tells us what we will see, how the TV studio works and introduces the sketches and the commercials for Brylcreem, Alka-Seltzer and Chevrolet that are lovingly recreated by the Crystaltone singers. So while the main characters are Lucy Ricardo (Sirina Irwin), Ricky Ricardo (Bill Mendieta), Fred Mertz (Kevin Remington) and Ethel Mertz (Joanna Daniels), there are many other characters rushing about the stage, with a couple of ringers in the audience as well.

The stronger of the two Lucy episodes is “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined.” This is when Irwin really delivers the Lucy Ricardo vibe trying desperately to please a producer during an audition while dancing despite being nearly blind from eye drops. Irwin pulls this bit of physical comedy off to perfection. Mendieta is also excellent as the lovingly exasperated Ricky and his vocal work is spot on. Close you eyes and you will swear you are hearing Ricky Ricardo from an old episode.

I Love Lucy Live on Stage is designed for fans of the series and those nostalgic for the days when life was simpler and less dominated by technology. It delivers on both those fronts. 

Harrah’s Resort Concert Venue

Thurs., Fri. 8pm; Sat. 5 & 9pm; Sun., Wed. 3 & 8pm

How Much: $36, $56.50 & $67

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