The touring company of “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” lovingly transported the audience at the Lied Center back to 1952 and the soundstage at Desilu Playhouse in Hollywood Friday night. For a little under two hours, audience members could feel they were present for a live filming — not a videotaping; there was no videotape in 1952 -- of two episodes of “I Love Lucy.”
If you remember the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra and the Tropicana Nightclub, if you remember Lucy’s incessant scheming to get into showbiz as she dragged Ethel and sometimes Fred into nuttiness that was guaranteed to collapse, smearing a little harmless egg on her face, then you will enjoy what you see on stage. It is a smooth show with excellent costumes, pleasing sets that accommodate the action and an energetic cast, featuring Sirena Irwin as Lucy and Bill Mendieta as Ricky.
Don’t be surprised if you like some of the added elements as much as the recreated shows. Maury Jasper, the jovial studio host played by Mark Christopher Tracy, is a soothing guide who helps the audience with its travel back through TV history. A bevy of “Crystaltone Singers” delivers jingles and advertisements for products of the day. And the Crystaltones find just enough time to offer three top songs of 1952 a la “Your Hit Parade.”
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But this presentation is not just for witnesses to history. It is definitely designed for anyone old enough to focus for the length of the show. There is no intermission. Like the TV era it portrays, it is fit for the family and all just for the fun of it. There is no heavy message to carry away.
For a swell time at the Lied, you still have three chances to see “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” this weekend.