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"I LOVE LUCY" Veterans Highlight Nov. 5 SPERDVAC Luncheon


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A special message from Gregg Oppenheimer:


I’m excited to announce the entertainment at the upcoming SPERDVAC Luncheon, noon to 4:15pm on Saturday, November 5, at Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn in North Hollywood. Tickets are only $50, which includes a 3-course sit-down luncheon, plus four great shows, featuring performances by an unprecedented number of radio and TV stars, including "I Love Lucy" veterans DORIS SINGLETON, SHIRLEY MITCHELL, and JANET WALDO. Tickets are going fast, so please order your tickets as soon as possible. A mail-in order form is online atwww.lucylibrary.com/ORDER-FORM.pdf or you can email Barbara Williams atmrj1313@sbcglobal.net


Even if you can't make it to the event, please share this message with your friends.


The shows include my own radio play, "I Love Lucy: The Untold Story," which had its successful premiere on August 6th (Lucy's 100th birthday) at the beautiful 1,400-seat Reg Lenna theatre in Lucy's hometown of Jamestown, New York (broadcast nationwide that same evening on SiriusXM Radio). It's a humorous look behind the scenes at the obstacles that had to be overcome to get "I Love Lucy" on the air, based on my dad's memoir, "Laughs, Luck...and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time" - www.lucynet.com


My cast for "I Love Lucy: The Untold Story" on November 5 will include


* "I Love Lucy" and "My Favorite Husband" veteran JANET WALDO ("Peggy", the bobby-soxer with the crush on Ricky Ricardo; also radio's "Corliss Archer" and the voice of "Judy Jetson")


* "I Love Lucy" and "My Favorite Husband" veteran SHIRLEY MITCHELL (Lucy Ricardo's girlfriend "Marion Strong", "The Great Gildersleeve", "Please Don't Eat the Daisies");


* "Leave It to Beaver" star TONY DOW ("Wally Cleaver")


* "Leave It to Beaver" star FRANK BANK (Wally's friend, "Lumpy", "The Jack Benny Program");


* DICK VAN PATTEN ("Eight Is Enough", "I Remember Mama");


* GLORIA McMILLAN (Principal Conklin's (Gale Gordon's) daughter "Harriet" on "Our Miss Brooks");


* RENI SANTONI ("Suspense", "Poppy" on Seinfeld, co-star (as Clint Eastwood's partner) of "Dirty Harry");


* GARY OWENS ("Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in", "Roger Ramjet");


* HERB ELLIS ("Dragnet," "Gunsmoke", "Get Smart," "Bewitched");


* PHIL PROCTOR (The Firesign Theatre, "Rugrats", "Finding Nemo", "Toy Story 2");


* CHUCK McCANN ("Boston Legal", "Robin Hood: Men in Tights", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "The Projectionist");


* TOMMY COOK ("Blondie", "The Lux Radio Theatre", star of "Adventures of Red Ryder");


* IVAN CURY (star of "Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders");


* STUFFY SINGER ("The Jack Benny Program", "Leave It to Beaver");


* JAN MERLIN (star of "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet");


* MICHAEL C. GWYNNE ("Kojack", "Dallas", Howard Stern's "Private Parts");


* MELINDA PETERSON ("MacGyver", "Twilight Zone")


I'll also be directing JANET WALDO in the classic Suspense thriller "Sorry, Wrong Number," featuring another "I Love Lucy"/"My Favorite Husband" veteran, DORIS SINGLETON (Lucy Ricardo's girlfriend "Carolyn Appleby"), who will recreate the she played opposite Agnes Moorehead in the original 1943 broadcast, plus GLADYS HOLLAND ("The Lux Radio Theatre," "To Catch a Thief," "The Man Who Knew Too Much"), and special guest star TERRY MOORE (Academy Award nominee for "Come Back Little Sheba" and star of such films as "Daddy Long Legs," and "Mighty Joe Young"). Rounding out the cast of "Sorry, Wrong Number" will be GLORIA McMILLAN, PHIL PROCTOR, RENI SANTONI, HERB ELLIS, TOMMY COOK, and MICHAEL C. GWYNNE. You won't want to miss it.


Also on the program is an entertaining episode of Jimmy Stewart's radio Western, "The Six Shooter," which will star actor-comedian CHUCK McCANN doing an awesome Jimmy Stewart impression, and SHIRLEY MITCHELL, who appeared on the original "Six Shooter" series. Chuck's such a Jimmy Stewart expert that if you ask him to do an impression of Jimmy Stewart, Chuck's response is, "At what age do you want him?" Guest-starring in "The Six Shooter" will be an actor who's no stranger to Westerns, BEN COOPER ("Gunsmoke," "The Virginian," "Bonanza," "Support Your Local Gunfighter").


One of the things I enjoy most about these shows is something the audience never gets to see -- all the kidding around between actors that happens during rehearsals. When one makes a mistake, another usually ad-libs something in an attempt to crack them up, and before you know it you've got a whole improvized shtick going. Well, this year director Tim Knofler is going to let the audience in on the fun: "The Six Shooter" will be done without any rehearsal, and we're encouraging the cast to go ahead have fun with it. With a cast that includes CHUCK McCANN, SHIRLEY MITCHELL, HERB ELLIS, BEN COOPER, and GARY OWENS, things might get a little wild.


The final production of the afternoon will be "My Client Curley", a short satirical play by radio's greatest playwright, NORMAN CORWIN, directed by Michael Kacey. Corwin, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of "Lust for Life" and such radio masterpieces as "On a Note of Triumph" and "The Plot to Overthrow Christmas," will be one of the many celebrities attending the luncheon. "My Client Curley," which was made into a motion picture, "Once Upon a Time" (starring Cary Grant), will star TOMMY COOK, who appeared in the original radio production, SEAN UMINSKI, GLORIA McMILLAN, RON COCKING, STUFFY SINGER, IVAN CURY, PHIL PROCTOR, MELINDA PETERSON, and MICHAEL C. GWYNNE.


This event, organized by SPERDVAC Luncheon Chairman Jerry Williams, is sure to be a wonderfully entertaining afternoon (and the food isn't bad, either). Once again, seating is first-come, first served, so please register early. A mail-in registration form is online at www.lucylibrary.com/ORDER-FORM.pdf or you can email Barbara Williams at mrj1313@sbcglobal.net

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Wow, I wish I could go, I've been crazy about Janet Waldo (and knew who she was) since I was about eight via THE JETSONS and PENELOPE PITSTOP. I wish she'd write her autobiography, I'll bet she has a lot of great stories to tell (beyond the one about being in the dressing room with Desi LOL).

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