Everybody loves Lucy! Join us Saturday night 1/23/16 at 7pm and recall your favorite episodes of the First Lady of Laughter. This documentary film will be introduced by Larry Lapidus. After the film there will be an opportunity to share your favorite episodes of ‘I Love Lucy’ with fellow enthusiasts.
Tickets are $10, which includes snacks, and can be purchased at the door.
This event is open to all – everyone is welcome. See you there!
GARY, IN – Fans of Lucille Ball who still think there’s some ‘splainin’ to do regarding her life and work will be thrilled to attend “Finding Lucy,” a PBS Masters documentary on the legendary comedian.
Sponsored by the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District, the comprehensive portrait of one of America’s most beloved stars will screen at 7 p.m. Saturday, January 23 at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts in the Miller Beach section of Gary.
Larry Lapidus, Lyric Opera of Chicago lecturer and program director, and self-professed Lucy “fanatic,” will introduce and discuss the film. “Because of her incredible fame, it was difficult finding video that had not been viewed before,” he said. “’Finding Lucy’ has had the least amount of exposure. I had only seen snippets of this documentary. These 84 compact minutes tell the whole story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.”
Known simply as “Lucy,” Ball was one of the most recognized and beloved entertainers in the world for more than 30 years. A high school dropout at 15, she moved to Hollywood where she appeared in 43 films during the 1930s alone. It was her two-year run on the radio show “My Favorite Husband” that really spotlighted her comedic abilities and opened the door to the creation of “I Love Lucy” – one of the most popular television series of all time.
In that weekly show, Lucy and Ricky (Arnaz), along with their landlords Fred and Ethel (William Frawley and Vivian Vance), used physical comedy and expert timing to find the humor in everyday life.
“Ball and Arnaz had tremendous success in early TV,” Lapidus explained. “For six years in a row ‘I Love Lucy’ was the most-watched program on television. In fact, the episode featuring the birth of her first child happened in tandem with her real life pregnancy. That program was watched by 75 percent of the entire television audience. This number has never been duplicated.”
In 1962, Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio – Desilu (along with husband Arnaz). This event was groundbreaking by almost all standards at the time. “For one, they used their personal money to launch the production company,” Lapidus said. “The huge financial success from the first two seasons made this possible.”
“They wanted complete control over all aspects of production, so they felt owning the company would certainly provide the means to that end,” he continued. “And let’s not forget that Desilu Studios also produced ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Star Trek’ for television.”
Ball, who died in 1989 at the age of 77, won four Emmy Awards (she was nominated 13 times), along with Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes).
“By today’s comedy standards, some might consider her brand of humor rather passé, but no one with a sense of humor could dispute her talent and ability to make people laugh,” Lapidus said. “Lucille Ball had perfect timing, brilliant writing, and was very funny – even hysterical – without uttering a word. Who can better that today?”
He added that the documentary will cover the star’s entire career. “It provides much insight into her journey from model, chorus girl, “starlet,” Queen of the B’s, radio, and the stardom she achieved becoming Lucy Ricardo in 1951. It’s amazing to me that she was already into her 40s before she became a household name.”
In conclusion, Lapidus suggested that the film would be an uplifting occasion for even the most casual of Lucy fans. “’I Love Lucy’ is still the most-watched program in syndication and re-runs anywhere,” he said. “With the world as it stands today, with so much sadness, uncertainty, and impending danger, this documentary can only cheer us up – and make us laugh, too.”
“Finding Lucy” will screen Saturday, January 23 at 7 p.m. at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake St., Gary, IN. Tickets at $10 can be purchased at the door, and includes admission to the screening, snacks, and the introduction by Larry Lapidus.