Tessa Roy ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The beloved classic television show I Love Lucy is adapted for the stage in the brand new I Love Lucy Live On Stage. The show proved to be a hilarious and entertaining spectacle for an audience of all ages, and here’s why:
1. The Accuracy
I Love Lucy Live On Stage is set in 1952 at the Desilu Playhouse where two episodes of I Love Lucy are being “filmed.” The show incorporates many elements that mirror its era.The jubilant, harmonizing Crystaltone Singers who bounced onstage during commercial breaks and a large, flashing “applause” sign were reminiscent of classic live television shows and the superficial happiness of the 1950s.
2. The Interaction
This show is highly interactive. Actors walked around the theater entertaining people before the show began, which succeeded in eliminating wait time boredom. During the show, the Desilu Playhouse host, played by Mark Christopher Tracy, spoke directly to the viewers as if they were a studio audience. At one point between scenes, an audience member was brought onstage for a mini trivia session with one of the characters. This type of audience involvement is one of the greatest things one can see in a theater. It proves the company was truly invested in ensuring its audience would have a great time.
3. The Costumes
Any 1950s junkie would fall in love with these costumes. The men looked dapper in their suits and ties, while the women stunned in colorful A-line dresses. Lucy and Ethel also donned simple housewife dresses that bore great resemblance to those worn in the original television show. Perhaps the best costumes of the show were the matching hats and pinstripe suits Ricky and Lucy wore for their duet in the “The Benefit” episode.
4. The Cast
I Love Lucy Live On Stage is downright funny thanks to its brilliant cast. Bill Mendieta is spot on as Ricky Ricardo, delivering a rendition of “Babalu.” Kevin Remington and *Carolynne Warren offer hilarious portrayals of the Ricardos’ sidekicks Fred and Ethel Mertz. Remington emulated Fred’s snark with a simple grumbling of “Hello, Ethel.” All the actors impressively played their parts, but Sirena Irwin took the gold. The essence of Lucy Ricardo is the most difficult to capture, but Irwin does it beautifully. She nails every aspect of Lucy from her mannerisms, screwball facial expressions, terrible singing, and short-lived fake bawling that never fails to make Ricky bend to her will. That giant “applause” sign wasn’t necessary for instructional purposes; there was no questioning when to applaud for Irwin.
I Love Lucy Live On Stage plays at the Colonial Theater until December 22nd. For tickets and more information click here.
*Note: The part of Ethel is regularly played by Joanna Daniels. Carolynne Warren played the part during the show Emertainment Monthly attended.