I Love Lucy Live On Stage

Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel: America's favorite foursome... live on stage and in color for the very first time! The world premiere of I Love Lucy Live on Stage, a musical comedy tribute to one of the most popular television shows, opens at the Greenway Court Theatre on October 1.

Travel back to the 1950s and the Desilu Studios where Rick Sparks directs the "filming" of two episodes of the iconic and beloved sitcom, complete with a television studio host and vintage-style live musical commercials. In addition to the classic comedy that takes place in Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's New York apartment, musical director Wayne Moore conducts The Ricky Ricardo Orchestra live from the "Tropicana Nightclub."

Sirena Irwin (previously directed by Sparks in Where's My Money?), stars as Lucy Ricardo; Bill Mendieta (a member of L.A.'s prestigious Antaeus Company) is Ricky Ricardo; Bill Chott (a writer/performer on The Dana Carvey Show and Saturday Night Live cartoons with Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell) plays Fred Mertz; and Lisa Joffrey (the Rick Sparks-directed Dead Bride Running) is Ethel Mertz. Also featured in the cast, playing multiple roles, are Noel Britton, Tom Christensen, Steven Connor, Gregory Franklin, Ed Martin, Denise Moses, Cindy Sciacca, Amy Tolsky, Gina Torrecilla and Mark Christopher Tracy.

"There will never be another television character like Lucy Ricardo," acknowledges Sparks. "We recognize that there was only one original cast, so we're not going to attempt any impersonation of their immense talents. Our task is to send a valentine to the unforgettable residents of 623 E 68th Street, as well as to the fresh style and commercial awakening of early 1950s television. Our plan is to honor and celebrate this iconic show, and that experience will begin the moment audiences step onto the sidewalk in front of the theater."

This fall marks the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy, which aired its first episode on October 15, 1951, and went on to become an American institution. It established the sitcom as TV's dominant genre, pioneering the production of TV shows on film in front of a live audience. All 179 episodes still air regularly in the U.S.

I Love Lucy Live on Stage is staged and directed by Rick Sparks. The stage adaption and additional new material are by Kim Flagg and Rick Sparks. Set design is by Aaron Henderson; lighting design is by Jeremy Pivnick; sound design is by Cricket S. Myers; costume design is by Shon LeBlanc; wigs and hair are by Byron Batista; and the production stage manager is Justine Baldwin. I Love Lucy Live on Stage is presented by S. Kahn Presents and Millrock Company. Hyra George and Kim Flagg produce, and executive producers are David George and Stephen Kahn.

Rick Sparks (Director, Co-Adaptor) is the winner of 16 Los Angeles theater awards. He most recently directed the Ovation-recommended Daddy at the Hudson Mainstage and Trio at Lounge 2. Rick's other directing credits include the long running Divorce! The Musical; the critically acclaimed L.A. premiere of Psycho Beach Party by Charles Busch; his own multiple award-winning adaptation and staging of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; a rock 'n roll adaptation of A Clockwork Orange; Down South, which moved to New York after a long L.A. run; The Nothing Boys (produced by TV's 'Entourage' producer Rob Weiss); Laguna Playhouse's West Coast premiere of Don't Talk to the Actors; the Colony Theater's critically acclaimed production of Clutter; and the West Coast premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Where's My Money?

Kim Flagg (Co-Adaptor) is currently writing on ABC's new 2011 fall comedy Last Man Standing. Kim was a writer and story editor for the Tim Allen series Home Improvement. She has collaborated with Allen for fifteen years as his ghostwriter, head comedy writer, speechwriter and creative design director, developing and writing a wide array of material for his stand-up comedy, award show appearances, comedy concerts, public engagements, hosting events, and talk show appearances including The Tonight Show, Letterman, Regis, Rosie, Oprah and The Montreal Comedy Festival. She collaborated with Allen on his two books, "Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man" and "I'm Not Really Here," developed two sitcom pilots while heading up the television development for his company, Boxing Cat Productions, and is credited with writing the ABC primetime live special The User's Guide to Home Improvement and the 8th annual TV Land Awards. Kim has done punch-up writing for several feature films and has been published in numerous magazines. She co-wrote, directed and produced Life on Mars, a one-man musical comedy that was performed at the HBO Work Space in Los Angeles, and most recently co-developed a one-man show for Mr. Allen, currently running in Vegas.

Executive producers David George and Steve Kahn created the "I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Experience" in 2001, for which they toured full-size, exact replicas of the original I Love Lucy sets, complete with props and other memorabilia, to venues across the U.S. for over two years. Viewed by millions, it was the largest collection of I Love Lucy material ever assembled, and is now housed in the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnez Center in Jamestown, NY.

With I Love Lucy Live on Stage, the Greenway Arts Alliance continues its rich tradition of providing the greater Los Angeles community with excellence in professional theatrical programming. The Greenway mission is to unite the community through art, education and enterprise. A true innovator, Greenway has created a world class model of how a non-profit arts organization can partner with a public high school, providing unmatched opportunities and support for both professional artists and students alike.

I Love Lucy Live on Stage opens for press on October 1 and continues through December 30. Performances take place Fridays @ 8 pm; Saturdays @ 3 pm & 8 pm; and Sundays @ 7 pm. There will be four preview performances on Saturday, September 24 @ 8 pm; Sunday, September 25 @ 7 pm; Thursday, September 29 @ 8 pm and Friday, September 30 @ 8 pm. All tickets are $34. The Greenway Court Theatre is located at 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036. To purchase tickets, call 800-595-4TIX (800-595-4849) or go to www.ilovelucylive.com.