Monday, January 14, 2013

Review of "I Love Lucy" Live on Stage (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called "I Love Lucy" Live on Stage. It was not like Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark because Spiderman just told the story of Peter Parker, but this was actually like them filming I Love Lucy. So there is a guy that will come out and tell what is going to happen (Ed Cross) and there were even fake ads which I thought was really fun. Most of the show was two episodes of I Love Lucy. I think this show is very funny. This is one you can take your kids to.

When you walk into the lobby you might see two women (Sara Sevigny and Debbie Laumand-Blanc) dressed in old-fashioned clothes. Those women are in the show as audience members. They are walking around in the lobby. Sara Sevigny came into one of the bathrooms and asked one of the women washing their hands, "How does the water come out of the faucet? There's no faucet handle!" because it is one of those new fancy kinds that you just put your hand under it and it senses your hand is there and starts. I was on the other side of the room and at first I just thought "there's a funny weird lady in here." Then I saw her, and I thought, "That's not just any audience member. That's an actress that's playing an audience member." At the very beginning of the show, Sara Sevigny gets up because Ed Kross has just said how pretty her dress was, and she stands up and says, "They're cherries!" in a funny accent. Later she gets asked to come up on stage and do a quiz with an actual audience member. When you have actors as audience members it makes you feel more like an actual part of the show because it makes you feel like an actor even if you are not an actor.

The ads make you feel like you are watching television. But instead of just talking about all the kinds of soap and medicine and stuff like that, they were also doing dance numbers for them. One of the craziest ads that they did was one for Alka Seltzer. This girl (Debbie Laumand-Blanc) came out in a Speedy costume and started to do this crazy dance number with tapping and all of this crazy dancing and I just thought it was amazing.

One of my favorite scenes was where Lucy (Sirena Irwin) was trying to shoot a scene with Ethel (Joanna Daniels) and Fred (Curtis Pettyjohn) and she kept forgetting her lines--sometimes earlier, sometimes later, and one time she was almost at the end of the part before her lines stopped for a little bit and then she messed up her line. It kind of showed what is was actually like to work with Lucille Ball. And it make it seem more like you were seeing something actually being filmed rather than just a play. If an actor in a real play forgets their lines, then they just have to move to the next lines or make up some lines that sound closest to their real lines.

King Katt (Richard Strimer) was a ridiculous dance teacher of Lucy in the show. And I think Ricky (Bill Mendieta) was a little bit jealous of him. When King Katt was talking to Lucy, Ricky got that kind of I-don't-want-you-flirting-with-my-wife face. So when they were doing the actual audition they did this amazing dance number, but when she came back from the eye doctor and she had had her eyes checked and she was blind for awhile she went to dance and she did a horrible job. It was so weird! She was like dancing with other people and instead of going off stage with King Katt she went off the stage with Ricky. I did find the scene overall very funny because she kept almost running out into the audience.

I thought it was really funny when Lucy was doing a song with Ricky where Ricky was supposed to tap a stick to stop the music so he could tell a joke. But she actually kept tapping the stick and telling the jokes. Or when he would tap the stick she would just say the punchline. That showed the personality of her: that she wanted to be even with the other person all the time or have more than the other person all the time. You still like Lucy because she is a funny person and she means well, but she sometimes does the wrong thing. We all are selfish sometimes, so you kind of don't blame her.

I thought it was really funny when Lucy called Ricky on the telephone and said, "is your headache still there?" And he said, "Yeah." And she said, "Maybe you are working too hard." And then a big crash happens in the background from the drums. It was funny because there was crashing and banging happening in the background and he was saying, "I don't know why I have a headache." Of course he knows why he has a headache! He works in a really really noisy place! And he also has a really weird wife!

People who would like this show are people who like old-fashioned ads, crazy dance teachers, and traveling back in time...sort of. I think the show is really funny and Hollywood-like. This show is good for all ages and makes you feel like you are actually watching I Love Lucy being filmed.

Photos: Ed Krieger

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