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  I Love Lucy Live On Stage at CIBC Theatre

I Love Lucy Live On Stage

CIBC Theatre
18 W. Monroe Chicago

I Love Lucy Live On Stage returns to Chicago for one week only. An "out-of-body experience for 'Lucy' fans" according to Showbiz Chicago, I LOVE LUCY LIVE ON STAGE takes audiences back to 1952 as members of the Desilu Playhouse studio audience where they await the filming of two hilarious and oh-so-familiar I LOVE LUCY episodes, "The Benefit" and "Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined." A charming host entertains and enlightens the crowd to the behind-the-scenes filming process of a brand new thing called "television," the Crystaltone Singers perform advertising jingles in perfect 50s style harmony and the sidesplitting antics of America's favorite foursome - Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel - are presented live on stage and in color for the very first time! It's a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience TV Guide's William Keck calls "the most entertaining stage production I've seen in years - including Broadway!"

Thru - Dec 14, 2014

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 800-775-2000

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins

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  I Love Lucy Live On Stage Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...This certainly is a pretty big variety show for your money — there is a mostly likable, all-Equity cast of 14 actors (Chicago performers support the two leads from the L.A. production), a seven-piece band (accompanying Bill Mendieta's very youthful Ricky Ricardo at the Tropicana Nightclub), two actual episodes staged before your eyes by capable comic actors like Lauren Creel, Rebecca Prescott and George Keating, lots of song and dance, and various other interjections and fast-paced amusements."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Those nostalgic for 1950s America will have their internal time clocks gently rewound courtesy of “I Love Lucy: Live On Stage,” the sweet little 95-minute musical comedy “re-enactment” of two episodes of the sitcom, and all that surrounded them. The show, now onstage at the Broadway Playhouse, can’t really reinvent the brilliant nuttiness of its source material, but it has its winning moments."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...It's a pleasant illusion for the most part. Ed Kross makes a great kibitzer and Curtis Pettyjohn a good, gruff, twinkle-toed William Frawley-cum-Fred Mertz. Shon LeBlanc's period costumes are very nearly worth the price of admission. But Sirena Irwin can't be Lucy and hasn't come up with an alternate strategy. In the end—and through much of the middle, too—you find yourself asking, What's the point?"
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Tony Adler

Centerstage - Recommended

"... But of course, the stars of this production, Sirena Irwin as Lucy, Bill Mendieta as Ricky, Joanna Daniels as Ethel and Curtis Pettyjohn as Fred, do everything possible to recreate these familiar characters as authentically as possible. Every look, gesture and line of dialogue (taken directly from the television series) is meticulously patterned after the actors who created these iconic roles and became household names. The whole production is slick and polished and succinctly plays within 90 minutes. But, while the show entertains and evokes memories, it doesn’t really add anything new. Audiences who loved Lucy before will certainly enjoy this trip down memory lane, but they may leave the theatre longing to revisit the original."

Colin Douglas

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...And despite the you-are-there premise, don’t expect to learn anything about the actual people behind I Love Lucy. Irwin and Mendieta are credited as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, with Curtis Pettyjohn and Joanna Daniels as Fred and Ethel Mertz. Pointedly, you’ll never hear the names Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley or Vivian Vance mentioned, though the episode stagings will make you better appreciate the original actors’ comic timing. The whole empty exercise feels rather like a theme-park attraction. You might not be able to shake the feeling you’ve paid top-tier ticket prices for something that should be free with your admission to Great America."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...Seeing I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE is a reminder of the genius that went into early television (3 camera filming was the brainchild of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball was the first female owner of a studio). It also lets us forget our troubles of the day and just hang out and relax with the people we have grown up with and relive the true Golden Age of Television."
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Michael Roberts

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...All in all, I Love Lucy: Live on Stage is a surprisingly generous, detailed and even celebratory blast from the past (featuring a cast of 17!). For persons of a certain age (myself definitely included), it really rocked with recognition-the big difference, of course, being that we finally see it in color! It's neither condescending to early T.V., the stereotypical characters, or the adoring audience (shrewdly padded with a few delightful "plants"). It's as American as Alka Seltzer-for what that's worth. Long live Lucy..."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...The wonderfully sung and danced commercials for Halo Shampoo, Brylcreem, and Chevrolet with the era group, The Crystaltones, warbling hit tunes of the era, and the smart hosting by Ed Kross make this nostalgic trip back to the 1950′s sitcom TV a wonderful experience. The production values of this show are first class: the live band is terrific, the comedy is a hoot, and singing & dancing commercials work well. All these elements make for an enjoyable show. Old Lucy fans will laugh; newbie to the legend will see what Lucy is really all about. All will be entertained by this show."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...While this is not a show for everyone, those who enjoy nostalgia will find some joy in recalling the simpler times we lived in, when Lucy and Desi were invited into our homes each week and we prepared ourselves in the living room ( we didn’t have dens or family rooms back then) and if we came home late, a snack table was placed in front of our chairs so we did not miss a second. Yes, we had to sit and watch because we could not record it or wait until it was on “viewers choice”. Even though filmed and cut , when it was on, it was on!"
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Alan Bresloff

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