“I Love Lucy” Hits the Stage in Nashville
The beloved TV show I Love Lucy comes to the live stage this week in Nashville, transporting the audience back to 1952 for an out-of-body experience as members of the Desilu Playhouse studio audience.
For ‘Lucy’ fans, this is a dream come true. As the lights dim you will be whisked back in time to find yourself on the sound stage, watching the back-to-back filming of two actual I Love Lucy episodes. When each scene ends, stagehands emerge, moving scenery and props, actors change costumes, and cameras move into position as Ricky and Lucy play out their ever-so-familiar hilarious hijinks.
From January 14 – February 2, 2014, Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater hosts a three-week run of I Love Lucy: Live on Stage, the hit stage show that has taken the country by storm on an extensive coast-to-coast tour. And it’s definitely been extensive.
“Since our tour started with 16 weeks in Los Angeles and six months in Chicago, our team of 35 have given over 300 performances,” said Executive Producer David George.
What began as an exhibition tour and virtual I Love Lucy traveling museum for CBS to commemorate I Love Lucy’s 50th anniversary in 2001, led to George and a small group of visionaries developing the idea of a live stage version of I Love Lucy with an unusual twist.
“Five years ago we acquired the rights to all 179 episodes from CBS,” George explained. “We selected two that had a lot of music. Half of the show is those actual episodes, and the other half is new material, with a lot of song and dance. Once you walk into the theater, you’re walking into Desilu’s studio in 1952.”
And that’s when the magic begins.
“Five generations of people have been watching I Love Lucy for 60 years. It’s the only show that’s been on the air that long,” said George. The excitement for sharing a live and full color version of possibly the greatest TV comedy of all time is evident in his voice. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, make sure you don’t miss out!
If you’re good on I Love Lucy trivia, you’ll have the chance to shine at the trivia game show during the performance. While watching the filming of well-known episodes The Benefit and Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined, a charming host enlightens the crowd about the process of that brand new 1950’s thing called ‘television.’ The Crystaltone Singers perform advertising jingles in perfect 50’s style harmony while Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred get up to their usual antics.
It’s no secret that everybody still loves Lucy!
TPAC has a great lineup of shows following on the heels of I Love Lucy, so don’t let the winter blues get you down!
Ghost the Musical (Feb 25-March 2) takes you on a visual journey to the afterlife in a Broadway musical of the Oscar winning movie. Stage and film illusionist Paul Kieve (Harry Potter) weaves his own magic with stunning special effects guaranteed to leave you gasping.
Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play, Red (Feb 13-March 1) is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition after landing the biggest commission in the history of modern art.
The well-loved Sister Act comes to TPAC March 11-16, the story of a wannabe diva who witnesses a crime and is hidden by the cops in a convent, turning convention upside down with her unrestrained enthusiasm.
Chaffin’s Barn, on Highway 100 on the south side of Nashville, is an iconic landmark in its own right, the dinner theater that mixes brilliant local performances with upmarket homestyle buffet.
Enjoy the legendary Driving Miss Daisy (Jan 9-Feb 9), the story of an elderly Jewish matron and her black chauffeur.
For a little light relief, Chaffin’s adds a great comedy to their winter lineup. Always a Bridesmaid is playing Feb 13- March 16, the story of four friends who promise to be in each other’s weddings – no matter what.
Chaps, set in 1944 London, is a musical comedy (Mar 20 – April 27) about the hilarious fiasco when America’s favorite singing cowboy, Tex Ritter, is late for a special BBC broadcast.
No matter how cold it is outside, Music City can always offer you great entertainment to bring warmth to your days!
(Photos courtesy of TPAC and Chaffin’s Barn)
What stage production are you most excited to see?