Last Thursday night The Hollywood Museum in the art Deco Max Factor Building held a tribute to Lucille Ball and Desilu Productions in honor of her 100th birthday and the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy. During the celebration the museum unveiled an exhibit titled “Lucille Ball at 100 and I Love Lucy at 60″.
The Beat was on the red carpet as star after star gamely smiled into the harsh afternoon sun. Passing tourists gawked as the likes of Tab Hunter and Rose Marie from The Dick Van Dyke Show chatted mere feet away. It was exciting to see cult favorites like Mary Joe Catlett of Different Strokes, Ruta Lee, who I personally remember from multiple Love Boat appearances and Alison Arngrim of Little House on the Prairie, who good-naturedly revived her evil Nelly glare upon request. I was even confetti-ed by Rip Taylor, something i didn’t even realize was on my bucket list until now.
One of the news reporters’ questions was, “Which Lucy episode was your favorite?” For some reason, most of them seemed to revolve around food – grape stomping, the chocolate factory, and pizza tossing. No one mentioned my favorite, the genius mirror mime with Harpo Marx.
Once inside the museum, hors d’ouvres were passed and guests could peruse the exhibit, which included costumes, jewelry, advertisements, paintings, sheet music, and even Desi’s bongos! The exhibit will be on display until November 30th. Specially produced videos played on screens placed throughout the venue, included one comprised solely of live performances at Club Babalu.
The elevator at The Hollywood Museum is mind-blowing, with a full bar and no ceiling so it gave the room-stretching impression of The Haunted Mansion. Or was it something in the drinks? The limoncello was kind of intense.
The top floor of the museum was set up for a party (and the museum can be rented out, so beauty mavens, keep it in mind for your wedding!). Open bars and specially mixed limoncello cocktails kept the crowd moving without any lines. Asparagus were individually wrapped in tiny crepes, lamb chops, crab-stuffed mushrooms and too many dishes made for a groaning table. When an older gentleman cught my eye, I saidm “Nice buffet.” He grumbled, “Yeah. At least CBS shelled out for something. Cheapskates! A lovely dessert table was centered around two Lucy-themed cakes, one each from La Creme Bakery and Hansen Cakes.
After a feast fit for the kings of comedy, a reunioon of I Love Lucy writers, performers, and people from behind the scenes assembled on stage. Speeches were given, laughs were had, presentations, and proclamations were made. What I had intended to be a quickie 1-hour red carpet turned into a late evening of fun and glamour. So wish Lucy a happy 100th and toast the sky.
The coolest elevator