There is something about an opening night.
An extra bonus of attending the opening night of Elise McCann’s Cabaret Everybody Loves Lucy (which briefly played at the Cremorne Theatre February 24-27) was watching the audience arrive all dolled up in their fifties frocks and quaffed hairdos. The audience were clearly having a fabulous time even before they took their assigned seats.
Elise McCann is an exceptionally talented artist and her impersonation of the fifties comedy icon and female studio executive pioneer is impeccable as evidenced by her performance of the classic ‘Vitameatavegamin’ sketch that had the audience in joyful hysterics. With Nigel Ubrihien supporting on piano as Desi Arnaz this petite cabaret presents snatches of Lucille’s life giving a glimpse into her rise to, and consumption by stardom, and the effect it had on her marriage and partnership with Arnaz.
The result is a little light-on given the complexity of Ball’s life in conflict with the times she lived in – ‘the times’ cleverly represented by a side character also played by McCann – a trapped gin-swilling housewife who lives vicariously through Lucy’s exploits without seeing the reality behind the clown (the birth of Ball’s second child was written into her show at a time when seeing pregnant women on television was forbidden).
It may be light-weight but it was still a thoroughly enjoyable, well-paced seventy minute show with highly impressive production qualities – I have never heard the sound in the Cremorne so clear and crisp and the costume design (Tim Chappel) was colourful eye-candy for an era-loving audience. The thing to note about this production is that it was so well done (even the accents were brilliant) that the audience wanted more of it, more of McCann, more of Lucy and certainly more of her life story.
Everybody Loves Lucy has now finished in Brisbane and is travelling the country.
More information can be found on online at www.luckiestproductions.com.