Los Angeles

Lucie Arnaz Gives Back to Students in Musical Theater

She makes time, time that she takes to mentor High school students from Musical Theater University at Rancho Mirage High school.

Lucie Arnaz learned so much from her famous parents, but perhaps most of all, she learned to connect and to give back to young people aspiring to make it in show business.

After 50 years on televison and stage, Arnaz has never forgotten her Latin roots. She designed a show as a tribute to her heritage and her immigrant father, Desi Arnaz, famous for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the sitcom "I Love Lucy." 

"Celebrating Latin music through some of my father's arrangements, it was called 'Babalu.' That was the story of my father's music," Lucie Arnaz said.

And her current project, "I got the job songs from my musical past," is getting rave reviews, too.

"You know, it's me talking about my story, my life and real stories that actually happened to me in the theatre," Lucie Arnaz said. 

Some of those stories -- no doubt -- are based on life with her legendary parents Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, both innovators who created a dynasty with Desilu Productions.

"We were 'Glee' before there was 'Glee' and I learned to tap dance and sing for real," she said.

With that kind of resume and those extensive credits, one asks, 'Where does she find the time to connect with aspiring young talent?' Well, Lucie Arnaz makes time. She mentors high school students from Musical Theater University at Rancho Mirage High School.

"I love it, I love the musical theatre and love being able to transfer whatever I've got to the next generation to keep them as professional and as good as when I was inspired by it," Lucie Arnaz said.

The love and passion that she posseses seems to transfer into the students.

"She comes in two or three times a year and works with the kids," said David Green, Founder Lucie Arnaz Awards & Musical Theater University. "It's indescribable, because for the kids to get the opportunity to not only get professional feedback from someone who has had such a long and varied career."

Green founded Musical Theatre University seven years ago and, more recently, the Lucie Arnaz Awards, which is a yearly competition that focuses on aspiring young high school talent in 24 schools in Riverside County, with the possibility of expanding to San Bernardino counties.

When students hear about the Lucie Arnaz Awards, they seem to get a bit more excited.

"People know, they see the breath of a career that is film and television and Broadway and then the lineage from her wonderful talented parents, and they're thrilled," said Green.

Over all, Arnaz said she feels very happy and lucky to be able to do what she loves for a living and in a way that benefits young talent.

"It's a great way to give back. I think my parents would be proud at the way things have turned out," Arnaz said. "Not just with my family and my long-term marriage but the joy that I have in the business and that I'm able to make a living."

In addition to all this, sometime in the next year Lucie Arnaz will begin working on a film about her parents' life. Aaron Sorkin wrote the script and she said Kate Blanchett will play Lucille Ball. Desi Arnaz has yet to be cast.

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