Suzanne LaRusch, Hollywood based actress-impressionist, stars in “Lucy, With Love,” an exciting new full-length theatrical presentation that recreates the magic of the world’s most beloved comedian.
Conceived by LaRusch, “Lucy, With Love” tells the heartwarming story of the little girl from Jamestown, New York, who ran away from home at age 16 to be in show businessonly to be told by Broadway’s finest that she had no talent. A lukewarm film career in Hollywood followed, and in 1948, at age 36, Lucy discovered her true fortedomestic situation comedy with a slapstick twist. A successful radio show brought her to CBS’s attention, and in 1951 she and husband Desi Arnaz started what would become television’s most successful series ever, “I Love Lucy.”
LaRusch takes audiences “behind the scenes” into Ball’s personal life, revealing both her hard work and determination to make a success of herself and of her marriage. LaRusch shines when she recreates golden moments from Ball’s famous sitcomsand allows the audience to understand the heartache the great lady felt when the Arnaz marriage failed.
Ball’s later marriage to comedian Gary Morton is also explored, along with the Redhead’s triumphs with “Wildcat!” on Broadway, “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy” on television, and “Mame” in the movies. The production ends with Lucy at home, facing the on-coming death of Desi Arnaz.
Suzanne LaRusch first played Lucy Ricardo in 1991 on a special assignment to Universal Studios Hollywood. The actress quickly came to the attention of Lucie and Desi Arnaz, Jr., who authorized LaRusch to portray their mother in other venues. She has since entertained for President George Bush, was a surprise guest for Roseanne at the 1997 Women in Film Lucy Awards, and has appeared on such national television programs as “Leeza” and “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” She was selected by AT&T to ride in the 1999 Tournament of Roses Parade on a float saluting the early days of television, and was engaged by the US Postal Service to help launch and promote their 1999 commemorative stamp celebrating “I Love Lucy.”
Long frustrated by what she perceived as the “Supermarket tabloid” approach to Hollywood history often employed in modern biographies, LaRusch in 1997 set out to create her own salute to the lady who has been so important, not only to her own career, but to millions of television viewers around the world. “Lucy, With Love” is a culmination of LaRusch’s efforts: a riveting two hours of laughter, music and touching moments.
“I have seen Lucille Ball saluted in many ways and formats over the years,” says producer Thomas Watson, a former Ball associates, “but no one has ever captured the essence of the lady the way Suzanne will delight audiences all over the world.”