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Lucy Festival 2011 - Comments, Photos, etc.

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There were 914 people registered for the Guiness Record of most people dressed like Lucy Ricardo at one place at one time.

 

The photos, reviews, etc. are excellent, Brock! I'll write some stuff up and post soon.

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So far, I've been to several events. I arrived late Monday night/early Tuesday morning (~1:30 AM). I spent Tuesday settling and enjoying the Center. There are several new items in the gift shops from shirts to Christmas ornaments to books and DVDs, all of which have been selling quickly. More stuff is coming in each day, so there's always something new to see. They're having early bird specials each morning from 9:00 to 10:00.

 

I've been on the go with events since Wednesday morning. The Lunch with Lucy History included lunch (a buffet lunch of subs, salad, and potato chips - all you can eat instead of the traditional prepared plates) and a showing of the "Toast of the Town" episode with Lucy and Desi. I really enjoyed this since I hadn't seen the entire episode. After the Toast episode was a taped interview of Phillip Morris publicist Jack Fones who was responsible for getting Lucy and Desi on Toast. It was quite enjoyable and even at 93 Jack is very sharp and shares excellent memories of Lucy and Desi. I took the 2:00 LucyTown Tour, which was very enjoyable and included things I forgot from the last time I took the tour (May 2005). (BTW, all of the LucyTown Tours and Cemetery Tours have sold out for the entire festival. Attendees must love the Lucy events. ;)) While the Jammers' game was postposned until 8:00, the game went on Wednesday night and the home team won. (I counted roughly 40 people who signed up for the event.) The Jammers jerseys were supposed to be auctioned off, but they decided to sell them for $150 each. (Only about 5 are left.) The baseball game tickets ($14) included both the game ticket and a buffet (again nice to have as much as you want to eat instead of small portions) dinner.

 

I skipped most of the morning events on Thursday, but I did go to the door unveiling. Attendance was pretty good. I took the Cemetery Tour that afternoon and really enjoyed it. The guide for the trolly that I was on is the Executive Director of the Fenton History Center, which was great because she knew a lot of Jamestown history to add and incorporate into Lucy-related stuff. Stops included Henry Ball's first grave (he's now buried in the same plot as Lucy, DeDe, and Fred), Warner Erickson (the boy accidentally shot in 1927 on Lucy Lane), Lillian Appleby, and Marion Strong VanVlack. There were also impressionists at several spots giving experinences/stories about how they were connected to or knew Lucy. (Well worth going on even if you've been to the cemetery.)

 

The Festivals in Review was interesting, but sadly (at least in my opinion) didn't include everything I think they claimed it would. It was mostly a lot of clips from I Love Lucy intersperced with clips from the 1991, 1992, and 1993 festivals. I'm still glad I went and enjoyed it, but I was expecting (and hoping) to see clips from ALL fesitvals, not just two or three.

 

The Here's Lucy Dinner with Joan Rivers episode was great. (Thanks and kudos again to Brock for the ticket.) Again it was a buffet, so I went away not only enjoying the program but also felt like I got a decent amount of food.

 

The Joan Rivers concert/performance was very interesting. The guy who was her opening was EXCELLENT!!!! I didn't particulalry enjoy her opening of jokes berating various groups of people (e.g. Latinos and handicapped people), but once she got passed that part of the program I rather enjoyed the event. I kinda feel bad for the band that was with her, though. (It was probably an easy gig for them.) They played two songs the entire evening and she only incorporated them into two jokes. I know there were several attendees who were offended and some left early. (I even heard Adrian Israel left early while Joan was making fun of Latinos!)

 

Friday was non-stop. I sprung for the Fab 4 Photo Op since they had impressionists for all four characters, and there were LOTS of others who did too. I do have to agree with Brock about the "Members Only" event...I was surprised (and a bit miffed) that they didn't have anyone checking off names or otherwise verifying membership, and I know there were some who attended who are not members. They always were good at enforcing membership, and I guess this may have gotten overlooked. The artifacts were neat to see, but I saw one of the Emmys at last year's Members Only event, so I was hoping to see something else. I was also hoping for a little more than just holding artifacts, but I appreciate at least having that opportunity.

 

I also signed up for the photo opp with Gregg, and I got a two-for-one special. It was initially set up that for $50 to have one's photo taken with either Gregg Oppenheimer or Joe Mayer (one of the first two twins to play Little Ricky), and $50 per photo to do both (as far as I know). As it turns out, once you got on the set (the photo was taken on the living room set in the Playhouse) you could have your photo taken with Gregg, Joe, or both of them. I, of course, went for both and am glad (while I enjoy supporting the Center) for the "two-for-one" special.

 

The Gregg Oppenheimer event was great, and totally sold out. (Except for the lunch on Wednesday and picnic on Sunday, all of the meals were sold out and were Lucy-centric.) He talked a lot about his Dad and showed the DVD from the farewell party to Jess from 1956. Gregg was really great about answering questions and he ran the entire event, which I think made it more relaxed, more focused on Gregg and his program, and less rushed. The lunch, though, was a salada and a piece of cake. The food was good and I enjoy salads, but for $35 it would have been nice to have a bigger salad.

 

The parade was sensational!!! The bands, cars, etc. were all exciting and I think Brock's recap sums it up great.

 

This morning I spent shopping (what else?). Michael Stern's book (as of earlier this afternoon) is almost sold out...only about 25 copies of the 300 left. The Guiness Book of Records event was well-attended, but was a little chaotic as there were more Lucys than they expected, but we ended up with 914 registered.

 

I'm off to the Oppenheimer Radio Show and Tropicana Dinner, so stay tuned for more (recaps, photos, etc.) from those of us (Brock, me, etc.) who are here.

 

Mary Jane Fan

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Enjoying "Mr. Weir Takes Jamestown"

 

I don't suppose you could have slipped that Emmy under your jacket and walked out with it. My birthday is coming up and I'm awfully hard to buy for.....Besides, she has three others (5 if you count the series).

5 if you count her Governor's Award and SIX if you count the series.

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Thanks, Mary Jane Fan! I'm so glad everyone is having a great time and attendance is up. And how is our Harry Carter's book selling this weekend?

Better than most i'm sure.

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I'm loving all the stories and pictures. That parade was awesome and Desi on the firetruck was cool. I have the Look magazine spread from that trip and there is photo in it of rain soaked Desi on the firetruck.

 

I wanted to offer some info on the Scarlet dress. I have a photo of that dress from when it was on display in the museum back in 1998. I think I remember reading that after the Here's Lucy appearances it made it's way to Jamestown and was used in a theatrical production there, so maybe that is how it got so torn.

 

About Joan Rivers, I don't understand why some people get all miffed and walk out because they are offended. Come on it's Joan Rivers, she's not a new comic, you know her deal. If you don't like it don't go. Also those BW Lucy/Desi looked liked card board cutouts at first. Weird.

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I heard that they were only about 200 away from selling out for Joan's performance. I think I heard that the Reg seats 1200, so there were probably about 1000 people there.

 

Mary Jane Fan

 

I don't think there is any way that there were 200 holes in the audience.

 

 

 

The Joan Rivers concert/performance was very interesting. The guy who was her opening was EXCELLENT!!!! I didn't particulalry enjoy her opening of jokes berating various groups of people (e.g. Latinos and handicapped people), but once she got passed that part of the program I rather enjoyed the event. I kinda feel bad for the band that was with her, though. (It was probably an easy gig for them.) They played two songs the entire evening and she only incorporated them into two jokes. I know there were several attendees who were offended and some left early. (I even heard Adrian Israel left early while Joan was making fun of Latinos!)

 

 

I think the band must have been in on the gag and knew what to expect. Besides, they got paid for it! Speaking of Adrian, while in character this morning at the brunch, he said, "I don't like her!" in response to a reference to Joan by Diane when the humour took a bit of a risque turn.

 

"Fred": Oh, Ethel, so NOW you've decided to hold on to your flower! :P

 

:marionstrong:

 

 

 

About Joan Rivers, I don't understand why some people get all miffed and walk out because they are offended. Come on it's Joan Rivers, she's not a new comic, you know her deal. If you don't like it don't go.

 

Agreed. You had to know what to expect.

 

I'll post my full re-cap after Paula Poundstone's event, but agree with a lot of MJF's post. I can't believe how many people were at the Guinness record setting -- and one couple even got engaged during the proceedings! :obrien:

 

The "ILL Behind the Scenes" and MFH recreation were terrific! I particularly enjoyed the actors playing the Atterburys. Their voices were spot-on!

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Thanks, Mary Jane Fan! I'm so glad everyone is having a great time and attendance is up. And how is our Harry Carter's book selling this weekend?

 

 

Aside from the gift shop, HC's book was also on sale at a book stall on Tracy Plaza from a Lakeview independent bookseller and owner said the book was currently its best selling title!

 

Congrats, HC!

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Aside from the gift shop, HC's book was also on sale at a book stall on Tracy Plaza from a Lakeview independent bookseller and owner said the book was currently its best selling title!

 

Congrats, HC!

No surprise there, it's that GREAT!

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Another great day to be had in Jamestown – and not just because it was the big ONE-OH-OH!

 

My first event of the day was the Tropicana Brunch. All it really said on the description that the four impersonators would be present, so one assumed there would be entertainment but not much more than that. After finally talking my mother into taking another plunge into the Tropicana Room after her last claustrophobic experience, we got there to find muffins on our place. She got a butterscotch muffing and, for reasons unknown, I got a blueberry muffin that was completely encased in sugar. Once I got into the actual muffin it was quite good. While we were eating our muffins and fruit salad the show began of “Ricky” doing a bit of an introduction and was quickly followed by the entrances of the Mertzes as they set up Lucy’s birthday “surprise.” Once Diane Vincent entered and was duly surprised, Michael Stern – who should be our new Lounge marketing director after this weekend! – took on the role as emcee for what turned out to be a karaoke by the “fab four”. They did a number of... well, numbers ranging from the Ricardos belting out Under The Bamboo Tree and the Anniversary Waltz, the gals doing such numbers as Friendship, I’m An Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande, and By The Light of the Silv’ry Moon, and the Mertzes performing such ditties as The Varsity Drag and Carolina In The Morning. Ethel even got the chance to belt out Lily of the Valley.

 

In between number, the cast mingled with the nearly sold out crowd (I only saw one empty seat), while we ate fried potatoes, ham, and frittatas. There was one red pepper I missed picking out of the frittata and while “Fred” mingled with our table, I spent most of the time trying to figure out how to politely dispose of the pepper without swallowing and/or before I died. After a couple of additional numbers, the morning concluded with Adrian’s rendition of Babalu. Or so we though. As we started getting ready to leave, Diane ran back out and started to belt out I Will Survive with Fred and Ethel performing the disco moves in front of the audience.

 

After the brunch, I then went to check out the silent auction... and then headed over to Tracy Plaza for the registration. Unbeknownst to me, I had already registered and apparently spent 25 minutes in line for the good of my health. The guy who sold me the t-shirt and mask on Thursday afternoon said additional registration would be required on the big day. Liar. Anyway, it was entertaining once there seeing everybody arrive in various types of Lucy costumes. While they gave us standard issue costumes consisting of a white t-shirt printed with the iconic polka dot dress almost like those long, white beach shirts with bodies printed on them and cardboard masks, some provided their own including one dressed as Lucy dressed as Superman, one of Lucy in The Black Wig, a typical American tourist who fell in a wine vat, and even two Lucys that couldn’t be more than a year and a half old.

 

When everyone was assembled, we were counted off as we went into a holding area and stood there having nothing to do but fan ourselves in the humidity while everyone took their place. As MJF mentioned in their post, a whopping 914 people were there to set the Guinness World Record for most Lucys in one place. In addition to those 914, there had to be another 70-80 onlookers on the Plaza and probably another 100 people taking pictures of the goings-on from three levels of the parking structure across the street. It really was a sight to behold! To spice things up a little bit, one man proposed to his girlfriend right in the crowd! It was a big to do, and they got VIP treatment at the Paula Poundstone event.

 

After that, we went across the street and had a frozen margarita or three before going back across the road to the Reg Lenna for the recording of Gregg Oppenheimer’s two productions. The first was a behind the scenes look at how ILL came to be, from the origins of My Favorite Husband and the struggle to get Desi (as played by Adrian Israel) on the show. There were five microphones lined up on the stage, while the cast sat in a very long row behind. Gregg had an interesting idea of using two different actresses to play the birthday girl, one playing Lucille Ball in the first show and another playing Liz Cooper in the MFH recreation. It was a great idea and the two actresses couldn’t have been more different. The MFH recreation was of the episode that was later retrofitted as Lucy, The Matchmaker. The cast really sold the script, but my personal favourites were the actors playing Iris and Rudolph Atterbury. They completely nailed the unique voices of Bea Benadaret and Gale, and the latter actor played several roles in both productions, including Bob LaMond.

 

Did anyone here catch the broadcast on Sirius?

 

There was a bit of downtime before my next event, which was Paula Poundstone. I got tickets for the cheap seats because in all honesty I have never been that crazy about Paula, but I thoroughly enjoyed her show tonight. While I didn’t really care for some of her prepared material on her kids and society in general, she really came alive in thinking on her feet when interacting with the audience. Incredibly about 2/3 of her show was based entirely on the people in the audience and it was brilliant. She seemed to really exercise her comedic muscles on poor Michael Stern. Hopefully you had a good time, Mike, after she zeroed in on you! LOL I wasn’t feeling too well soon after I got to the theatre and missed bits and pieces, but what I saw was (mostly) wonderful.

 

Now here I am writing out this recap and watching the Ricardos, Mertzes, Cheddar, and the Bigsby gals fly back to the United States.

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Aside from the gift shop, HC's book was also on sale at a book stall on Tracy Plaza from a Lakeview independent bookseller and owner said the book was currently its best selling title!

 

Congrats, HC!

 

Thank you very much for letting me know! It's very nice to hear that. Thanks for asking, Robbie.

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Tropicana Brunch:

 

"Do you want to go out with the boys?"

 

jtown2011-068.jpg

 

Carolina In The Morning:

 

jtown2011-069.jpg

 

Tap, tap, tap...

 

jtown2011-070.jpg

 

The Bloomer girls:

 

jtown2011-071.jpg

 

Old cowhands...

 

jtown2011-072.jpg

 

California, There They Go!

 

jtown2011-073.jpg

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The Radio Shows:

 

Jell-O TAP(!)ioca puddings, yesiree!

 

jtown2011-084.jpg

 

Mr. Director:

 

jtown2011-085.jpg

 

And with the cast:

 

jtown2011-086.jpg

 

"Richard Denning" and "Lucille Ball":

 

jtown2011-087.jpg

 

"Jess" and "Desi":

 

jtown2011-088.jpg

 

"Liz and George Cooper: Two people who live together...and like it!"

 

jtown2011-089.jpg

 

"Rudolph" and Director:

 

jtown2011-090.jpg

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Paula Poundstone:

 

jtown2011-091.jpg

 

Paula chatting with the engaged couple, the male of whom may or may not be related to Kaye Ballard:

 

jtown2011-094.jpg

 

And then Michael makes the fatal error of telling Paula he works for Dr. Phil. The microphone stand was standing until that revelation:

 

jtown2011-092.jpg

 

jtown2011-093.jpg

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One sidenote I forgot to include in my recap was how impressed I was by Poundstone's Lucy knowledge. She was tossing Lucy quotes left and right, including:

 

"I was more enraged then Lucy when she found out they were racing little girls at Churchill Downs!"

 

and...

 

"There are two words you should never say. One of them is swell and the other one is lousy."

 

...among others.

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I'll say this for people being offended by Joan: she might have considered a Lucy event is NOT the place to make fun of hispanics. And I think it's always in very poor taste to make fun of people with handicaps.

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I'll say this for people being offended by Joan: she might have considered a Lucy event is NOT the place to make fun of hispanics. And I think it's always in very poor taste to make fun of people with handicaps.

As has been said before, you pay to go see Joan Rivers, you know what you're going to get, grow up people! She wouldn't have lasted this long if she were proper and bland.

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There's nothing funny about someone with a handicap. Nothing. Period. I don't care if she's been doing it for years. Just because someones been murdering people for years doesn't mean it's ok, does it? Moot point, I suppose. I wasn't there and her disgusting humor is exactly why I've never been a fan.

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I look at these supposed IMITATORS and it brings to mind, where was the greatest Lucy imitator this year? Suzanne?

She was one of the attendees at Thursday evening's opening of the Lucy tribute exhibit at the Hollywood Movie Museum. :D

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There's nothing funny about someone with a handicap. Nothing. Period. I don't care if she's been doing it for years. Just because someones been murdering people for years doesn't mean it's ok, does it? Moot point, I suppose. I wasn't there and her disgusting humor is exactly why I've never been a fan.

Yeah, go with Goldberg, she's N E V E R said anything against anybody in her long career. LOL! People have been making fun of people's handicaps for decades now, stuttering, hearing impaired, sightless, ever hear of Mr Magoo cartoons? British people and their teeth, boozers from Ireland, watermelon jokes and Blacks, i have a huge HONKER , so i KNOW people make fun of other people, it's always been and always will be. Joan faces that INCIDENT in her documentary where she is making jokes and a guy with a child who has that problem exits and she continues making fun of it saying her own sister has the same problem, she's doing a comedy act and this guy is ruining the show so she keeps going after him while he's leaving, that's a PRO, she won't give in to a heckler and keeps on performing. Joan might not be YOUR favorite but you did not fork out the money to see her there, only THOSE people who did can criticize. I've always been a fan of hers but everybody knows she is shocking and raunchy, she does Charles BIG EARS and Camilla HORSE FACE jokes at her shows in London and both are fans of hers and they've exchanged gifts and see each other socially, it's called having a sense of humor. When someone does not like that TYPE of humor, they should just never go to her shows, it's as simple as that.

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Thanks for the loads of pics and the constant reports from Jamestown Brockie, it's like you brought all of us along with you, tell us how much we owe you for gas and such, LOL! Fred is willing to pay for the water at least.

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