“I Love Lucy: Live on Stage” at the State Theatre: I Like Lucy

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As I walked into the beautiful and cozy State Theater on Tuesday January 20, all I could think about was homework and my upcoming finals. I was thoroughly hoping that “I Love Lucy” would help take my mind off my studies. In short, the show didn’t do this. I wasn’t very engaged and found my thoughts wandering periodically. The show was based off of the T.V series from the 1950s “I Love Lucy”, starring Lucy Ricardo and her husband Ricky Ricardo and the day to day shenanigans in their lives. Everyone watching the production was treated like audience members at the T.V. studio where the show was being filmed. Although it was hard to resist smiling at some of Lucy’s ridiculous lines, I only really enjoyed the portions of the show focused on Lucy.

Most things about the performance seemed so-so. The T.V show host, played by Mark Christopher Tracy delivered most of his lines with overdone fake charm. He filled a lot of the spaces between episodes of the show with tedious things meant to entertain the audience. For example, an audience member was taken on stage to do an “I Love Lucy” quiz, which seemed more boring than amusing. The chorus members also displayed phony pep which did not entertain me. The male chorus members especially did not sing with confidence or project well. The women members of the chorus had more redeeming moments, such as the ‘Pleasant Peasant’ number which was exaggerated hilariously. There was chemistry between the four leads of the show, and the moments of the performance portraying episodes of “I Love Lucy” were the highlights. Thea Brooks embodied Lucy Ricardo perfectly and her performance was another highlight. Though the four leads were funny, the two episodes chosen to perform in the show were not as funny as I expected them to be. Overall the performance was lackluster.

The set was very minimal, as it didn’t change throughout the show. It was interesting to see a T.V studio like it would have been from the 1950s. It was also enjoyable seeing all of the elements used to set the time period, such as the old fashioned cameras. The costumes were another one of these elements, helping us feel like we really were in the 50s with high waisted pants and longer flared skirts. Actors also periodically name dropped celebrities from that era, making the older members of the audience chuckle. All of these aspects of the show helped immerse us into the spirit of those times.

As I was leaving the theater, I heard someone say that the show felt like an ammature performance. It was a good try, but it lacked a lot of the funny spirit I was looking for. Because it is such a memorable show for older generations, I know I wasn’t the target audience and I hope the majority of people there got what they were looking for. All in all, I can’t say that I love Lucy. I’d have to settle for like.