The Sharon | Events - The Villages Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center

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    Jan 13, 2021

Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom
presented by L.A. Theatre Works

March 20th, 2021

Time: 7:00pm

Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom is the hilarious and true story behind one of America's most beloved TV comedies.

Lucille Ball paved the way for many of today's top comediennes, while forcing Hollywood to begin dealing with the rising power and influence of women artists both on-screen and behind the scenes. Her iconic series, I Love Lucy, remains one of the most groundbreaking and influential shows in television history.

Playwright Gregg Oppenheimer-son of I Love Lucy creator Jess Oppenheimer-spins this witty, fast-paced tale of Lucy and Desi's battles with CBS over the pioneering ideas that changed the face of television forever: Lucy insisted on Desi Arnaz, her Cuban-born bandleader husband, as her TV co-star-instead of the "All-American" leading man preferred by the network. The couple wanted the show filmed in Hollywood, where they planned to raise a family-not broadcast live from New York like other major TV programs of the time. They demanded and won the right to own the show themselves. Their writers incorporated Lucy's real-life pregnancy into the program's story line-an absolute taboo in 1950s America-resulting in the highest audience share ever recorded. And they proposed the unheard-of notion of airing "reruns" on the network in order to accommodate Lucy's mid-season maternity leave-an experiment that ultimately turned the entire TV industry's business model on its head.

Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom tells all of these stories, and more, with as much heart and humor as an episode of I Love Lucy itself. This crowd-pleasing show, written for L.A. Theatre Works, played to sold-out houses during its world premiere run at the James Bridges Theater in Los Angeles in 2018.

Gregg Oppenheimer, who co-authored his father Jess's memoir, Laughs, Luck...and Lucy, and produced the award-winning I Love Lucy DVD series, is one of the world's foremost authorities on this classic sitcom. And he received valuable input on this project from Lucy and Desi's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, who served as technical advisor.

Under the leadership of Producing Director, Susan Albert Loewenberg, L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) has been the foremost radio theater company in the United States for four decades. L.A. Theatre Works is broadcast weekly in America on public radio stations, daily in China on the Radio Beijing Network, streamed online at www.latw.org and programs are aired internationally on the BBC, CBC, and many other English language networks. LATW has singlehandedly brought the finest recorded dramatic literature into the homes of millions. On the road, LATW has delighted audiences with its unique live radio theater style performances in over 300 small towns and major cities, including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington and Chicago, Beijing and Shanghai. An L.A. Theatre Works performance is immediate, spontaneous, and features a first-rate cast, live sound effects, and a connection to the audience rarely felt in a traditional theater setting. This theater… is an event.

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