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Lucy Loves Desi:
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom

— Special Event —

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 | 7:30 p.m.

L.A. Theatre Works brings its signature radio-theater hybrid style to the Mother Lode Theatre! Written by Gregg Oppenheimer—son of I Love Lucy creator, producer, and head writer Jess Oppenheimer—Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom is the hilarious true story behind the beloved TV comedy.

With its onscreen pairing of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, I Love Lucy remains one of the most popular TV shows in history. Who would have thought that to get on the air, they had to battle both a network and a sponsor who thought the show couldn’t possibly succeed?

“This is a comedy about the comedy business,” says Oppenheimer. “It’s a true story, but sometimes it almost feels like an episode of I Love Lucy itself.”

Much of the play is based on Jess Oppenheimer’s memoir Laughs, Luck…and Lucy, which Gregg co-authored with his father. The audience might be surprised to learn that necessity drove many of the show’s famous groundbreaking innovations: the multi-episode story arc, the baby story line, the flashback show, and the rerun were all devised to address Lucille Ball’s surprise pregnancy (and maternity leave) in the show’s second season.

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Lucy Loves Desi