Lucille Ball

       “Thank You For Asking”

Surflight Theatre, Long Beach Island, NJ

Oct 15, ‘11

First a word about the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore.  This is a great summer stock venue with professional actors;  a fine theatre which stages their productions very well.  Should you visit the Jersey Shore, check them out.

Now to the play.  Suzanne LaRusch is the “Official Lucy Performer” and co-wrote this with Lucie Arnaz, Lucille Ball’s daughter.  Ms. Arnaz also directed this piece.  As chance would have it, the night we attended was the 60th anniversary of the premiere of I Love Lucy!  That date was October 15, 1951, and we saw it on October 15, 2011.  Coincidence.

Watching and listening to Suzane LaRusch as Lucille Ball one could easily believe she was, in fact, Lucy.  The makeup, wig, facial expressions and voice were transporting.  Lucy was in the room.  She spoke about being mentored by Buster Keaton in mime, and did a bit about vitameatavegemin, one  of Lucy’s best known skits.  Then the actual clip was shown and the congruence was striking.  She recounted Lucy’s early days as model, actress then TV comedienne and her marriage to Desi Arnaz.  She brought Lucy down to earth as a person without pretension who happened to be so good at what she did that she became iconic. 

The fact that Lucie Arnaz co-wrote and directed gives this piece an air of authenticity and I feel I know Lucille Ball as I never have.  (Obviously this play is unavailable at present, but if it comes to the area and you are an I Love Lucy fan, it is worth the price of admission.)