Friday, October 28, 2011
Lucy’s sidekick Ethel (a terrific Lisa Joffrey), may have played second fiddle throughout the run of the show, but here she and husband Fred (Bill Chott) get to show off some of their own vaudevillian song and dance skills in “The Varsity Drag” sequence. Both capture the fine points of their characters beautifully.
As with any television show there are some hilarious commercial inserts by notable products of the day; Brylcream, Chevrolet and a dancing Alka Seltzer tablet among them, and musical numbers by The Crystal Tones – think “Glow Worm” in gorgeous six-part harmony. Those beautiful musical arrangements are brought to you courtesy of musical director Wayne Moore, who also leads the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra “live” at the Tropicana and highlighted by Cricket S. Myers' sound design.
Thanks to a top-notch ensemble the show actually begins outside the theatre as costumed cast members interact with the audience while waiting for the doors to open. One excited woman (Amy Tolsky) is just so gosh darned happy to be here that her infectious energy transfers to everyone around her.
Once inside, Aaron Henderson’s set design lit by Jeremy Pivnick welcomes you into the studio and Mark Christopher Tracy takes charge as the host of the show. Audience warm-up is an art and he’s got it down to a T. A few of the other character highlights include Ed Martin’s wildly entertaining turn as Lucy’s eye doctor, Greg Franklin as Broadway producer William Parker, and Tom Christensen as Lucy’s swingin’ jitterbug instructor King Katt Walsh, though it truly is a team effort and everyone in the cast has his or her chance to shine.
I Love Lucy® Live on Stage pays the highest compliment to its namesake sitcom by remaining true to the innocence of the original. In doing so, we the audience have the opportunity to experience a bit of what it was like in those early days when landing a joke was the loftiest of goals and wholesome entertainment was what the country craved. Fresh, lovely, and full of life, Sparks and company have truly created a shining love letter to the one and only first lady of comedy.
I Love Lucy® Live on Stage runs through December 30 at the Greenway Court Theatre. Click Here for tickets and more information.
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The original episodes of The Benefit and Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined were written by Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr. I Love Lucy® Live on Stage is brought to you by S. Kahn Presents and the Millrock Company. Executive producers are David George and Steve Kahn. Hyra George and Kim Flagg are producers.
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Labels: greenway court
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