TV + THEATER: When a television writer wants to portray a villain as particularly evil -- like, totally the type who would twirl his mustache and chuckle maniacally -- the writer will often make that person a theater snob. Not just a theater snob, but a theatah snob, one who insults the coarser television arts at every turn while exalting the virtues of the stage and playwriting. It's an old rivalry -- well, as old as television, anyway -- but one that gets tested every now and again, in funny ways that reveal that there isn't much to the rivalry, anyway. One test? When a stage show jumps to the small screen. Not many jump to mind, right? And films don't count. But, very occasionally, a television show heads for the footlights, proving that the two forms can indeed play nice. "The Brady Bunch" found a lot of kitschy play back in the '90s, when theater troops presented the suburban foils of Greg, Marcia, and all the kids. And "I Love Lucy"? Well, a live presentation that debuted at the Greenway Court Theatre on Fairfax Avenue in LA in 2011 keeps on truckin'. It's about to enjoy its Orange County hello, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, from March 18 through 24.
LUCY AND RICKY ARE BACK: Sirena Irwin and Bill Mendleta are back as Lucy and Ricky, and a whole cast of characters -- hi, Fred and Ethel -- will join them in their lipstick-bright, mambo-merry high jinks. This is the national tour, by the by, and the show is making a few more stops in the springtime. Make that the musical show, of course; "I Love Lucy," which ran on CBS from 1951 through 1957 had plenty of tuneage and so does this television-pop treat. And we do mean "pop"; the production met with great reviews a couple of years back, and we can only imagine Lucy buffs'll be back to catch it at the Segerstrom. The tickets? They start at twenty nine bucks. We're not sure how many chocolate candies that might equal -- chocolates quickly stuffed in one's mouth while no one's looking, of course -- but the evening should be just as sweet.