We love Lucy — a classic sitcom hits Ruth Eckerd Stage tonight and tomorrow

The audience will be transported to 1952 and treated as the Desilu Playhouse studio audience.

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The Tampa Bay area gets a time warp treat when I Love Lucy Live on Stage swings by Ruth Eckerd Hall for three shows tonight and tomorrow night, staged and directed by Rick Sparks.

The audience will be transported to 1952 and treated as the Desilu Playhouse studio audience watching Lucy and Ricky film two classic episodes, “The Benefit” and “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined”, with live commercials (including good old-fashioned jingles!) and behind the scene antics. Euriamis Losada and Thea Brooks play Ricky and Lucy Ricardo with Lori Hammel and Kevin Remington as Fred and Ethel Mertz, the Ricardos' landlords and BFFs. Click here for a who's who on the performers.

I Love Lucy, one of TV's most beloved series, originally aired on CBS from 1951 to 1957 for a total of six seasons and 179 episodes. The show broke new ground with the use of multi-camera shooting — still used by traditional sitcoms today — and 35-mm film, making it possible to re-air episodes and make reruns a TV tradition.

The sets, including the Lucy and Ricky’s iconic apartment, and costumes promise to be a vintage-phile's dream. Let's assume the I Love Lucy Live on Stage will leave out the rumored real-life hatred between Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance).

If you have never watched an I Love Lucy episode, full episodes are available on Hulu and CBS.com. Do it. You'll be glad that you did. If the musical is half as hysterically funny and endearing as the award-winning TV show, it should delight fans and newbies alike.

Tickets start at $35. 8 p.m., Tues., March 24; 2 and 8 p.m., Wed. March 25. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

About The Author

Stephanie Powers

Freelance contributor Stephanie Powers started her media career as an Editorial Assistant long ago when the Tampa Bay Times was still called the St. Petersburg Times. After stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, where she studied improvisation at Second City Hollywood, she came back to Tampa and stayed put.She soon...
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