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Gregg O.

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Gregg O. last won the day on April 13

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About Gregg O.

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  • Birthday 03/08/1951

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  1. Because everybody needs a laugh right now, here's my GIFT to every Lucy fan (and to L.A. Theatre Works): Yours for the asking: The full-cast recording of L.A. Theatre Works' world premiere production of my "docu-comedy" play, I LOVE LUCY: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom, based on Dad's memoir (Laughs, Luck...and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time, by Jess Oppenheimer, with Gregg Oppenheimer). Starring as Lucy and Desi are the marvelous Sarah Drew (Grey's Anatomy) and Oscar Nuñez (The Office). Both got rave reviews when the show played to sold-out houses in 2018 at UCLA's James Bridges Theater. "Oscar Nuñez and Sarah Drew capture every nuance" - AudioFile (photo by Matt Petit) ____________________________ Just email me your request (at gopp@aol.com), and I'll buy it for you and email you the mp3 download link. The purchase price will go to my favorite performing arts and educational non-profit, L.A. THEATRE WORKS, which can certainly use our support right now. Thank you, and stay safe. - Gregg Oppenheimer Playwright, "I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom"
  2. Practically every episode of "I Love Lucy" was filmed in less than an hour, including camera reloads and costume changes. The record was only 42 minutes! (The "no-retakes" rule helped.) When they filmed "The Freezer", they shot it from start to finish, only applying those "frozen Lucy" makeup effects that could be applied very quickly just before she was rescued from the freezer. When they reached the end of the final scene, they announced to the audience that they were going to apply more "frozen" makeup to Lucy and re-shoot the "Freezer rescue" scene, but it would take at least an hour to apply all of Lucy's makeup, so the audience was free to go. But if anyone wanted to wait around and watch the reshoot, they could. As it turned out, every single member of the audience sat and waited for over an hour to watch the re-shoot of that scene.
  3. Great news! The first theatre critic's review is in for my radio play "I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom", starring Sarah Drew ("Grey's Anatomy") as Lucy & Oscar Nuñez ("The Office") as Desi! You can read the review below. But can I ask a small favor? Would you take just a moment to go to Amazon and/or iTunes and give it a star rating (or, even better, a review)? I'd be most grateful. You may even be the first to review it! Thanks! And if you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to it right now, for FREE, at https://bit.ly/2VowTIr (not sure how long it'll be there) or download it at https://bit.ly/2OpROu1 AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE REVIEW I LOVE LUCY: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE SITCOM by Gregg Oppenheimer | Read by Ron Bottitta, Seamus Dever, Sarah Drew, Abigail Marks, Matthew Floyd Miller, Rob Nagle, Oscar Nuñez, Nick Toren Poetry & Drama • 1.5 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2018 It's the sounds that bring the memories flooding back. The ubiquitous Latin rhythms of the "I Love Lucy" theme song. The staccato dialogue and fine sound design that mimic the feel of the early 1950s. And, especially, the marvelous performances of Oscar Nuñez and Sarah Drew, who capture every nuance of Ricky and Lucy's voices. It's late 1949, and radio and film star Lucille Ball is looking for the right show with which to break into the newfangled world of television with her real-life husband, successful bandleader Desi Arnaz. There are some bumps in the road, but the pair end up creating a template for practically every television situation comedy to come. Written by the son of the show's creator, this play is full of bright nostalgia and insider insights. B.P. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2018]
  4. As should be clear from the title, this is not "I Love Lucy Live On Stage". But it is a comedy. It's all the crazy, funny behind-the-scenes stories they never properly tell in the TV movies about how the show originated, how they got CBS to accept Desi, how Lucy and Desi ended up owning the show, how Viv and Bill were cast, how they got CBS to let them do the pregnancy episodes, where the theme song came from, how they invented the rerun, and much, much more! Starring Sarah Drew (Grey's Anatomy) and Oscar Nuñez (The Office). Lucie Arnaz was kind enough to act as my technical advisor on the script. There will be just five performances, and you can use the code COPA for $15 off on tickets at LATW.ORG What's not to like?
  5. My "I Love Lucy" play continues, with a new rewrite, new scenes, a new title, a new song for Desi, a new baby for Lucy, and even a new invention (the rerun!)
  6. Joyce Bulifant will play Gracie, and her husband, Roger Perry (Harrigan & Son, Star Trek) will play George.
  7. On Thursday evening, March 12, at 7pm, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, I will be directing an evening of old-time radio comedies and dramas to benefit Dezart Performs, including BURNS & ALLEN, THE SHADOW, and ABBOTT & COSTELLO, complete with live music and live sound effects. My talented cast will include such luminaries as Gavin MacLeod, Joyce Bulifant, Carole Cook, Millicent Martin, Phil Proctor, Marion Ross, to name a few. It should be a hoot, and I hope some of you can make it. Neil was there last year, so maybe he can give you an idea of what it was like. - Gregg Oppenheimer Click here for tickets and full details.
  8. Thru Wednesday, Amazon.com is offering my dad's humorous memoir, "Laughs, Luck...and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time", as a COMPLETELY FREE download! Even if you've already read the paperback, it's worth downloading the ebook edition, because (1) it has more scripts, (2) it has more archived audio, (3) it has more and better photographs, and (4) it's FREE! And while you're at Amazon.com, if you'd care to post a review, I wouldn't mind that, either! - Gregg
  9. The only version of I Love Lucy Season 1 available through Netflix is STILL the original UNRESTORED, UNCAPTIONED 9-disc version released by Paramount over ten years ago. I've called Netflix a couple of times to ask them to correct this oversight, but I'm just one person, so they've done nothing in response. Also, Netflix streaming offers NO episodes of I LOVE LUCY. So I'm asking the LucyLounge community members who are members of Netflix to please call the NetFlix customer service line and 1. Tell them that the version of the I LOVE LUCY Season 1 DVD Netflix currently offers is over 10 years old, is UNRESTORED, and is UNCAPTIONED. Tell them that I LOVE LUCY Season 1 is now available on Blu Ray in a fully-restored version, with English Subtitles for the hard of hearing, and request that Netflix start offering the Blu-Ray version instead of just the obsolete version. 2. Tell them that all 180 episodes of I Love Lucy have now been remastered in HD and request that Netflix make the series available for streaming in HD (as it has done with The Andy Griffith Show). And please post under this topic what kind of response you get when you make these requests. Thanks! - Gregg Oppenheimer
  10. As many of you know, the 4-hour audiobook I Love Lucy: The Untold Story, for sale for $14.95 on Amazon.com, Audible.com, and iTunes, includes a 45-minute full-cast production of my play, I Love Lucy: The Untold Story. While Amazon lets me set the price for ebooks (which is why Laughs, Luck...and Lucy costs just $2.99), audiobook pricing is beyond my control. I've found a workaround, however. I've just made the 45-minute radio play available as a standalone premium to anyone who makes a donation of $1.95 or more to the Motion Picture & Television Fund (formerly known as the "Motion Picture Relief Fund"). Click here to learn more. And after you follow the link, please remember to share it on Twitter and Facebook! Take care. - Gregg Oppenheimer
  11. It's a matter of legal clearances. Before I could distribute the recording of I Love Lucy: The Untold Story that's on iTunes and Amazon.com, I had to get signed permission from all the performers and from the folks who own the music. (Did you know that the I Love Lucy theme song is owned by Paul McCartney?) Because I was distributing the recording in order to raise money for charity (The Motion Picture & Television Fund) all the necessary parties ultimately gave me permission, but all the correspondence and paperwork took a lot of time and trouble, and it only covered that performance back in 2011 (in which Lucy was played by Amy Pietz, who was just wonderful, by the way).
  12. I'll be directing another staged reading of my original short play, I Love Lucy: The Untold Story, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, from 3pm to 4pm at University Synagogue in Brentwood (11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049) Based on my dad's memoir, this humorous look behind the scenes at the creation of TV's most beloved sitcom has had successful productions on both coasts, as well as a nationwide broadcast on SiriusXM™ Radio. This performance will have new scenes, including the story of how Vivian Vance became "Ethel Mertz." (Some of you may have seen the "Vivian Vance" scenes presented separately in Jamestown in 2012, but I've now integrated them into the play.) Read a rave review of our most recent performance The show is performed in the style of old-time radio, with the actors and singers standing at microphones, scripts in hand, plus sound effects and recorded music. My phenomenal cast includes such talented performers as Nancy Travis (Last Man Standing) as Lucille Ball, Dick Van Patten (Eight Is Enough) as CBS head William S. Paley, Tony Dow (Leave It to Beaver) as I Love Lucy director Marc Daniels, Phil Proctor (founder of the legendary Firesign Theater comedy group) as Desi Arnaz, William Schallert (The Patty Duke Show, Get Smart) as CBS Programming chief Hubbell Robinson, Second City alum Lance Kinsey ("Lt. Proctor" in the Police Academy films) as I Love Lucy Pilot director Ralph Levy, Alan Oppenheimer (The Six Million Dollar Man, Murphy Brown) as Jess Oppenheimer, and musical guest Dora Pearson (former lead female vocalist for Sha Na Na). Read more about our star-studded cast! After the show, refreshments will be served, and you'll have the opportunity to mingle with members of the cast. Proceeds benefit University Synagogue. Tickets are $18 in advance or $25 at the door. Free parking is available. (Cast lineup is subject to change.) Order your tickets now online We're going to have a lot of fun on October 6th, and I really hope to see you there. - Gregg Oppenheimer P.S. If you can't make the October 6th performance, be sure to check out the full-cast recording of I Love Lucy: The Untold Story now available at iTunes, at Amazon.com, at Audible.com, and at Audiobooks.com. All royalties from sales of the recording benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
  13. Alan Oppenheimer isn't a relative, but I've followed his career since I was a kid, partly because his name was Oppenheimer and because he bears a slight resemblance to my dad (who he portrays in my play - both on March 3rd and in the audio version). I met him a few years ago at Norman Corwin's 100th birthday party at the Writers Guild. If you get the audio version, please be sure to post a review!
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