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NASHVILLE – I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE, the hit stage show adapted from the most beloved program in television history, arrives in Nashville for a two-week run in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater January 14-26, 2014.
Tickets go on sale Friday, August 9 at 10:00 a.m. at www.tpac.org, by phone at (615) 782-4040, and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick Street, in downtown Nashville. For group sales, please call (615) 782-4060.
Full casting has been announced for the national tour. Sirena Irwin and Bill Mendieta lead the company as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, reprising the roles they created in the original Los Angeles and Chicago productions. Kevin Remington and Joanna Daniels play Fred and Ethel Mertz, the Ricardo’s loveable landlords and sidekicks. The cast also includes Sarah Combs, Gregory Franklin, Peter Kevoian, Jayme Lake, Carlos Martin, Tyler Milliron, Denise Moses, Cindy Sciacca, Jeffrey Christopher Todd, Mark Christopher Tracy, Carolynne Warren and Tamara Zook.
“Both Lucille Ball and the classic television show she created with Desi Arnaz are timeless and brilliantly funny,” said Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC’s president and chief executive officer. “From the moment the audience arrives, this ingeniously staged production will transport them back in time through its multi-generational, feel-good fun. As a fellow redhead, I can’t wait to have Lucy in our Polk Theater for two weeks this January.”
An “out-of-body experience for ‘Lucy’ fans” according to Showbiz Chicago, I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE takes audience members 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!”
I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE is staged and directed by Rick Sparks and adapted for the stage with new material by Kim Flagg and Rick Sparks. The creative team also includes Wayne Moore (music direction, arrangements and special lyrics), Peitor Angell (original music), Aaron Henderson (scenic design), Shon LeBlanc (costume design), Chris Wojcieszyn (lighting design), Cricket S. Myers (sound design), Diane Martinous (hair/wig design), Desiree Falcon (make-up design) and Sarah Hall (production stage management).
The I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE on-stage band comprises Wayne Moore (musical director, conductor and first keyboard), Andy Belling (assistant conductor and second keyboard), Ron Barrow (trumpet), Steve Bringelson (bass), Adam Halitzka (drums/conga), David Olivas (saxophone), and Nicholas Stankus (guitar, banjo and conga).
The iconic hit sitcom I LOVE LUCY® originally aired on CBS from 1951 – 1957 for a total of six seasons and 179 episodes and is widely considered to be one of the most popular programs in the history of television. Due in no small part to its relatable characters, sharp comedic writing and Lucille Ball’s signature zany charm, the show continues to endear new audiences with every passing generation. The program was a technical trailblazer, pioneering the multi-camera shooting technique (still employed by the majority of traditional sitcoms to this day) and the use of 35mm film for the capture of a weekly, 30-minute scripted television program (which made possible the re-airing of episodes at a later date, what we now know as “reruns”). In September 2012, I LOVE LUCY® was named the “Best TV Show Of All Time” and the “Greatest TV Comedy” by People Magazine and ABC’s “20/20” special “Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time.”
I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE had its world premiere in Los Angeles at the Greenway Court Theatre from October 2011 – February 2012. A subsequent Chicago production was launched that played two sold-out engagements at the Broadway Playhouse, September 2012 – March 2013. The show is produced by Stephen Kahn (executive producer), David George (executive producer), Allan Williams (executive producer), Hyra George, Kim Flagg, Dede Harris and Sharon Karmizan under license from CBS Consumer Products.
SARAH ELIZABETH COMBS (Crystaltone Singer “Gertie” / Fern / Dinah Beach / Pleasant Peasant / Gal on the Go / Understudy for Ms. Irwin) Sarah is blessed to join the “Lucy” company! She was most recently seen as Christine in Phantom of The Opera, Las Vegas. Regional credits include: Sound of Music (Maria), Sweeney Todd (Johanna), Oklahoma! (Laurey), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Dorothy), and Les Miserables (Cosette). Love & thanks to God, family, friends! www.sarahelizabethcombs.com
JOANNA DANIELS (Ethel Mertz) Joanna played Ethel in the Chicago production of I Love Lucy® Live on Stage and is thrilled to join this tour. She has been on the stage from Florida to London, and NYC to LA since age 11. In other words, she’s a newcomer. She has also been in many commercials and voice overs, several TV shows, and a smattering of films. She’s your basic working actor, and proud to be one. www.joannadaniels.com
GREGORY FRANKLIN (Crystaltone Singer “Grant Bosworth” / William Parker / Laboratory Tester) Theatre Highlights; I Love Lucy® Live on Stage in Los Angeles and Chicago, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Divorce! The Musical, Light In The Piazza, Glengarry Glen Ross, Man of La Mancha, Joan of Arc, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Galileo, Kabuki Medea. TV Highlights; “Mad Men,” “Samantha Who?”, “Weeds”, “Close To Home”, “House”, “Young and the Restless”.
SIRENA IRWIN (Lucy Ricardo) Sirena Irwin originated the role of Lucy in I Love Lucy® Live on Stage for which she has received multiple awards. Stage work includes starring in many shows at various small Hollywood theaters and comedy clubs plus the occasional Shakespeare Festival. TV work includes “Spongebob Squarepants.” She also writes and directs. She is deeply grateful to Rick Sparks and the producers for this extraordinary opportunity and she dedicates this show to the queen of comedy, Lucille Ball. @sirena_irwin
PETER KEVOIAN (Standby for Mr. Remington, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Martin, Mr. Milliron and Mr. Tracy) Broadway and National Tours Include: Wicked, Ragtime, The Phantom of the Opera, Zorba, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sunset Blvd., Cats & Les Miserables. Television Credits include “LA LAW”, “All My Children”, “The Guardian”, “McMillan”, “Cheers”, “Matlock”, “Doogie Houser”, “Becker”, and “ER”. Proud member of Actor’s Equity since 1973.
JAYME LAKE (Crystaltone Singer “Ruth-Anne” / Makeup girl “Ernestine” / Headache Sufferer / Pleasant Peasant / Gal on the Go) National Tour debut! Favorite Credits: Footloose (Ariel), Honk! (Penny), Hillary Agonistes (Chelsea – Off Broadway, NY), Helen (Cherry – Getty Villa). Thank you to Rick Sparks and the Lucy Live team for this gift. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the love and support of my family, friends and my incredible husband, Harley Jay! www.jaymelake.com
CARLOS MARTIN (Crystaltone Singer “Buck” / Laboratory Tester / Eye Doctor / Understudy for Mr. Mendieta) Film: Finishing the Game (Sundance), Electronica (Cannes). Alumni Second City. Stage: Life Could Be A Dream (Skip-Original Cast) The Wizard of Oz (The Tin Man), The Pajama Game (Sid), Singing in the Rain (Cosmo), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), The Fantasticks (El Gallo), Phantom (Phantom) Follow me across the Nation on Facebook at Footloose and Fancy Free, or www.carlosmartin.me
BILL MENDIETA (Ricky Ricardo) originated the role of Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy® Live On Stage in Chicago and Los Angeles where he received the Best Actor Broadway World award. Other favorite roles include Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing and the title role in Hamlet. Film credits: Soldier of God, Dead Border, Race. TV credits: Days of Our Lives. Web series: The Sanctum, Mob Boss Associate. Twitter: @Bill_Mendieta
TYLER MILLIRON (Stage Manager “Gerald”/Chevy Dancer/Understudy Mr. Martin and Mr. Todd) Tyler loves Lucy, and is thrilled to be along for such a wonderful ride! Tyler is a Los Angeles-based Actor/Artist/Composer/Director/Producer whose work can be ‘splain’d at www.millironstudios.com. Thanks to Bons, Stage9 and his whole family for their undying support. www.tylermilliron.com
DENISE MOSES (Birdie Mae Figg / Speedy / Pleasant Peasant / Charwoman / Dorothy Day Spokesperson / Dance Captain / Dance Assistant) Original Cast / Dance Captain I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, Los Angeles. Original cast – Tony ’n Tina’s Wedding Off-B’Way, New York. Toured U.S. with her one woman comedy show. Numerous commercial/film and TV credits. Earned her Equity card playing Porky Pig & her SAG card as a dancing egg.
KEVIN REMINGTON (Fred Mertz) is thrilled to join I Love Lucy® Live – thanks for this tremendous opportunity. Recent roles: Truman Capote in Carved in Stone and Edgar/Jane in The Mystery of Irma Vep. Regional and touring favorites: Edward II, A Christmas Carol, 1940’s Radio Hour, Antony & Cleopatra, Comedy of Errors, Guys & Dolls and Romeo & Juliet. Love and thanks to his amazing parents, family and friends.
CINDY SCIACCA (Crystaltone Singer “Patsy” / Stomach Ache Sufferer / Pleasant Peasant / Daisy Davenport / Gal on the Go / Bill Parker’s Date) Originated the role of Miss Santa Monica in the Los Angeles Premiere of I Love Lucy® Live on Stage. Los Angeles: Justin Love, The Life, [title of show], and Into the Woods. Chicago: Tony and Tina’s Wedding. Television: “America’s Got Talent”. DVD: “Richard Simmons’ Project Hope”. Cindy received her BA from Columbia College Chicago. www.cindysciacca.com.
JEFFREY CHRISTOPHER TODD (Crystaltone Singer “Chester” / Fever Sufferer / King Katt Walsh) Jeffrey is thrilled to be touring the country with this incredible company! Recent Theatre: Proposals, Aladdin, Bat Boy, Lucky Duck, My Way, Sordid Lives. TV/Film: Switched at Birth, Free Agents, Wizards of Waverly Place, Not Another High School Show, Polar Opposites, Tunnel Rats. Northwestern University graduate. Member: Musical Theatre Guild. www.jeffreychristophertodd.com
MARK CHRISTOPHER TRACY (Maury Jasper, Desilu Playhouse Host / Laboratory Tester) Mark is delighted to be working, yet again, with longtime collaborator Rick Sparks. He is delighted to be playing Maury Jasper again in I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, having originated the role. Mark and Rick go back 20 years, including the multi-award-winning They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
CAROLYNNE WARREN (Eugenia, Understudy for Ms. Daniels, Ms. Sciacca, and Ms. Moses) Carolynne is thrilled to be spreading Lucy Love everywhere. A graduate of both Second City and Harvard University, Ms. Warren has been described, in print, as “deliciously kooky.” That probably says it all. She is a native Bostonian with beloved regional credits in Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles.
TAMARA ZOOK (Standby for Ms. Irwin, Ms. Combs, Ms. Lake, Ms. Warren and Ms. Moses) This multi-award winning actor’s NY, LA & regional credits include works of Brecht, Feydeau, Feiffer, Moliere & Tennessee Williams. Recent musicals: Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz and Roz in 9-5. Roles in soap operas to sitcoms, 150 commercials, studio features and award winning independent films screened at major festivals & everywhere in between.