Everybody Loves Lucy

Elise McCann stars as Lucille Ball, the Queen of American comedy, in this critically acclaimed and sell out one woman show Everybody Loves Lucy.  Written by McCann and Richard Carroll, Produced by Luckiest Productions, with Direction by Helen Dallimore, Choreography by Chris Horsey and Starring Nigel Ubrihien as Desi Arnaz and Musical Director – Everybody Loves Lucy ran sell out seasons at The Hayes Theatre in Sydney, The Adelaide Cabaret Festival and The Melbourne Cabaret Festival in June/July 2014 after which it embarked on a 6 week National Tour in February/March 2015.  Elise was nominated for Best Cabaret Production in the 2015 Sydney Theatre Awards for her performance in Everybody Loves Lucy.  

Lucille Ball won the public’s hearts as television’s biggest star in I Love Lucy – the most popular sitcom in American history. Wacky, fearless, and totally endearing, Lucy broke the mould for the way women were allowed to behave on TV.   As she conquered the entertainment industry, Lucy was joined every step of the way by her real-life and on-screen husband Desi Arnaz. Together they defied conventions and expectations by creating their own studio and held up a fun-house mirror to every marriage in America, exaggerating and making amusing every idiosyncrasy of married life. But as Lucy’s popularity and relationship with the public thrived, her relationship with Desi suffered both professionally and privately.  However as her own marriage fell by the wayside, she was credited with saving the marriages of millions of Americans.  Brimming with Lucille Ball’s irrepressible spirit, acclaimed Australian theatre star Elise McCann presents a tribute to a true trail-blazer.

Reviews

“McCann is fearless!”

“McCann has excellent timing, comic and otherwise, but here it’s the comic timing that’s most impressive. She seems to have a sense of space in her body; her carefully-flung arms and expressive face are studied and expert, but feel spontaneous; to generate a perfectly controlled silliness is difficult, and McCann does it with ease.”

“McCann’s ‘Lucy’ is a complicated portrait”
Aussie Theatre
“Elise McCann is pitch-perfect as comedy pioneer Lucille Ball”

“Everybody Loves Lucy is equal parts amusing and bittersweet.”
The Daily Telegraph
“Ms McCann simply becomes Lucy, taking us on her journey in character, without any cheesy cabaret narrative bits.”

“Lucille Ball, is a delightful fit for Elise McCann in a tribute that feels more like a short play with music than a cabaret in the conventional sense.”

“…a triple threat performer with a stunning voice”

“Everybody Loves Lucy dives far deeper into (McCann’s) considerable talents – for physical comedy, recreating Lucy’s uncanny genius with zest, while touchingly portraying the deep underlying pathos of the classic clown, revealed beautifully as the very real humanity and vulnerability of the woman, wife and mother behind the performer.”
Stage Whispers
“McCann’s performance was larger than life, really capturing the woman behind the character.”

“…superb, well-crafted and effortlessly executed. The timing and spacing were really spot on… really had the audience in stitches. “

“You know that you have found something wonderful in a performance that can make you laugh and cry.” Australian Stage Online
“McCann plays the lady herself with vivacity, superb vocals and a firm understanding of just how much of a pioneer Ball really was. While it’s not a direct impersonation, she’s got the broad humour of Ball down pat, and, just like Ball, she’s a true clown, diving head first into each absurd comedic situation.”

“The recurring theme of Make Someone Happy takes on new meaning each time it’s sung thanks to McCann’s versatile, warm, smooth-as-silk voice”

“…lithe, entertaining and beautifully crafted.”
The Daily Review
“Elise McCann is a real delight … giving a beautifully pitched, thoroughly engaging performance, which sees her shining bright”

“Without actually impersonating Ball, McCann captures a vivid sense of the famously ditzy, redheaded housewife Ball portrayed on screen, nailing her zany brand of vaudevillian comedy with its clown-like physicality. She also conveys a strong sense of the era. “

“Her comic timing is spot-on throughout.”

“McCann is a wonderful draw-card, giving a very enjoyable performance that confirms her considerable talent “
Jo Litson: Scene & Heard
“McCann exudes Ball’s natural sass, facial expression, timing, and trademark foghorn voice. She is an ideal choice to portray the star.”

“Everybody Loves Lucy is less like a variety act, and at 75 minutes in length, is far closer to an intimate book musical.”

“Like the real life celebrity pair, McCann and Ubrihien have an effortless chemistry together.” Theatre People Melbourne
“An artist with a killer voice, McCann understands the ‘clown’ that was Lucy,” Stage Whispers Melbourne
“If an actor is going to portray someone who is an icon, they need to be spot-on: Elise McCann is! In fact, she is so much like the comedienne in every aspect – except McCann sings better – that one has to wonder if there is indeed such a thing as reincarnation.”

“Lucille Ball paved the way for many comediennes and female performers, not just in America but all over the Western world. McCann is one such performer and we need to see more of her talents and tireless energy.”

“I love Lucy, we all love Lucy, everybody loves Lucy and we all adore Elise McCann!”
GLAM Adelaide
“…you (will) love Elise McCann’s sparkling incarnation of Hollywood’s screwball Queen of Comedy.”

“Lucille Ball was unique, and yet McCann makes her impersonation her own. The routines are down pat, the patter timed to perfection and her quick changes executed with lightning effect.”

“McCann has obviously put in the hours, studying episodes of I Love Lucy and it shows in her quick repartee, her ballet barre work and her witty play on language with Ubrihien’s Arnaz. Lucille Ball would have killed to have a voice like McCann’s…”

“Everybody Loves Lucy is more than McCann’s skilfully observed display of Lucille Ball’s comic routines. We are introduced to a woman, who could make the world laugh while the actress was crying inside.”
Canberra Critics
“McCann captures the essence of Ball,….the manic delivery, the physical comic, and the pathos of the clown, particularly when her marriage is falling apart.”

“McCann sings better than Ball ever did”

“She is brilliant at recreating some of the iconic skits” Stage Whispers Brisbane
“Elise McCann is an exceptionally talented artist and her impersonation of the fifties comedy icon and female studio executive pioneer is impeccable”

“..this production is so well done (even the accents were brilliant) that the audience wanted more of it, more of McCann, more of Lucy”
Aussie Theatre Brisbane
“McCann MAKES this show”

“Here’s an artist who presents the iconic comedienne in minute detail; the characterisation both “on air” and off is exquisitely studied and presented with skill and finesse. We get all the comedy, but we are also gifted with an insight into the imagined mental and emotional state”

“…these scenes are so good because McCann embraces each one as if it had always been her own story. The comedy is completely natural”

“This is McCann at her comical best!”

“McCann’s performance I adore; it’s perfectly pitched, and delivered with all the highs and lows to crack open our hearts McCann makes us remember why everybody loves Lucy. “
XS Entertainment Brisbane
“Once again Lucille Ball won the hearts of her audience through McCann’s brilliant acting in the hilarious production Everybody Loves Lucy. “

“Elise McCann had Brisbane roaring with laughter “
Brisbane Weekender
“From the moment she staggered onto stage in character as Lucille Ball, you could tell Elise McCann was onto something golden. Everybody Loves Lucy is a loving tribute to one of the first ladies of American comedy, brimming with the wacky, fearless and endearing spirit of Ball herself.”
Pop Culture Magazine Melbourne