Still in Love with Lucy

by Thomas Watson

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dear Fellow Lucyfans:

Lucy Jewelry in Christie Auction

Included in the Magnificent Jewels auction being held next month by Christie's auction house will be ten lots of jewelry that once belonged to Lucille Ball.

A portion of the sales will benefit the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York.

Among the Lucy items in the auction will be a tigerís eye and gold wristwatch, an onyx, emerald and diamond pendant necklace, a 46.92 carats cabochon star sapphire and diamond ring, a diamond and gold evening bag that Lucy used on her White House visit in 1986, a Cartier diamond and gold "tonneau" wristwatch, and a sodalite, diamond and gold pendant necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels.

The auction will be held October 16 at Christie's galleries in New York's Rockefeller Center. Images and descriptions of the lots offered in the sale are presented in Christie's "Magnificent Jewels" catalog, which is available on-line at A link to the on-line catalog us also available at the Lucy-Desi Center's home page. A free public exhibition of the sale will take place at Christie's galleries October 11-15.

Lucie to Honor Tony Roberts Tonight

Lucie Arnaz will be one of the Broadway stars saluting actor Tony Roberts tonight when the Friars Club of New York presents Roberts with their Thespian Award. The 8:30pm event will also include performances and/or appearances by such artists as Richard Belzer, Jim Dale, Penny Fuller, Richard Kind, and Donna McKechnie, among others. The guest of honor will also perform.

Lucie and Roberts have been friends for many years, and he co-starred in her CBS television series, The Lucie Arnaz Show back in 1985.

Remembering Alice Ghostley and Marcel Marceau

We were saddened over the weekend to learn of the passings of both comedienne Alice Ghostley, who was 81, and pantomimist Marcel Marceau, 84.

To my knowledge, neither ever appeared with Lucille Ball, although Marceau did appear in a Red Skelton Show with Desi Arnaz.

Perhaps Alice Ghostley is best remembered for her recurring role as Esmeralda, on the TV series, Bewitched. She was also a regular on Jackie Gleason's American Scene Magazine, and made multiple appearances on such classic TV shows as Car 54, Where Are You?, The United States Steel Hour, Get Smart, Mayberry RFD, Love American Style, and Good Times. More recently, she was a semi-regular on both Designing Women and Evening Shade.

Ghostley's film work included "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962) and "With Six You Get Eggroll" (1966), among others.

World-renowned mime Marcel Marceau, grew up watching -- and studying -- silent-film comedian Charlie Chaplin. Becoming a professional entertainer himself after World War II, Marceau made his first appearance in the United States in 1955.

Because his act was "silent," Marceau made only sporatic appearances on television... But during the 1960-61 season, illness forced Red Skelton to miss a few episodes of his top-rated CBS comedy series. The network booked other performers to pinch-hit. Desi Arnaz, agreed to host an episode showcasing Marceau. At the end, Desi told viewers, "Wouldn't it be great to do a show sometime with Marcel and Lucy?" The Arnazes, by then, were divorced, and she was starring on Broadway in "Wildcat." But ever the producer, Desi knew a good idea when it came along. Alas, a Lucy/Marcel Marceau match-up was not to be.


Lucy VAMps for "The Untouchables"

Some people call it "bonus material." People in the video business call it "VAM" -- Value Added Material. Call it what you will: a "Lucy Show" is coming to DVD. No, not the complete series; not yet, anyway. But CBS/Paramount is including a 1965-66 (color) episode of "The Lucy Show" on its new "Untouchables" DVD set, due out tomorrow, September 25. The package is "Season One, Volume Two," and includes the last 14 hour-long episodes of the crime series' 1959-60 season.

The "Lucy" episode in question is "Lucy, the Gun Moll," featuring special guests Robert Stack, Bruce Gordon and Steve London -- all of whom were regulars on "The Untouchables." The script, by Bob O'Brien, is a "take off" on the long-running Stack series, produced by Desilu. In the story, Lucy Carmichael helps government agents track down bank money stolen by a notorious gangster -- whose girl friend just happens to be a dead ringer for Lucy.

To my knowledge, this is the first time "Lucy, the Gun Moll" has been released on home video -- and is CBS/Paramount's first experiment with releasing "The Lucy Show" on DVD. I encourage you to support the effort by adding this set to your collection.

Friends of Old-Time Radio

The 2007 convention of the Friends of Old-Time Radio will be held in Newark, New Jersey, on October 18-21. Lucie Arnaz will appear in Gregg Oppenheimer's special production of "Harry Lime" on Friday evening, October 19.

Also appearing at the convention will be such celebs as Shirley Mitchell, Chuck McCann, Gil Stratton Jr., Joe Franklin, and Will Hutchins.

For a complete rundown on the guest celebrities and the entire weekend of events, visit the Friends of Old-Time Radio web site at:

They're Playing Her Song

Lucie Arnaz, Robert Klein, and conductor Marvin Hamlish will bring their "30th Anniversary" concert version of "They're Playing Our Song" to the San Diego Symphony for two nights, November 9th and 10th. Performances are at 8PM.

The two performers vocally recreate the songs from the Broadway show, and share stories about their award-winning work together back in the late 1970s.

For information about the performances, visit the San Diego Symphony web site at:

Janet Waldo Joins Recreation of "Benny" Broadcast

Actress Janet Waldo -- who played Peggy Dawson in the famous "Young Fans" episode of "I Love Lucy" -- has joined the cast of Gregg Oppenheimer's upcoming recreation of "The Jack Benny Program."

As mentioned here previously, this special one-day-only 75th Anniversary recreation of the Benny show will be part of a special luncheon sponsored by SPERDVAC -- the Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy. It will be held at the Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City, California, starting at 12 Noon. Tickets for the show (including lunch) are $25.

"The Jack Benny Program" will star impressionist Eddie Carroll starring as the Milwaukee Penny-pincher. Comedian-impressionist Chuck McCann will appear as Don Wilson, with three original Benny cast members -- Beverly Washburn, Stuffy Singer, and Shirley Mitchell -- being featured in the cast. Also appearing will be Dena Dietrich, Tommy Cook, Gloria McMillan, John Stephenson, and Don King.

We will have more information about special event in the next few weeks, and you can also visit the SPERDVAC web site for updates:

Have a great week everybody!

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