Night & Day — Richard Lundy has come back home and he’s brought Lucy Ricardo with him.
An 1979 Lockport High School grad, Lundy is assistant stage manager for “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” a comedic musical that transports audiences to a filming of two episodes of the TV show that starred Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
After spending an assorted 30 some years behind the scenes of a multitude of productions, Lundy says that the Lucy show is the most fun he’s had working. “It is a much fun as I’ve had back stage doing a show,” he said. “It’s a fun show and the cast is great. There’s no prima donas. Everyone is fun and silly and enjoying themselves backstage.”
Lundy especially appreciate’s the show’s star, Sirena Irwin, was particularly engaging to her colleagues, as a particularly good cheerleader back stager. “She kind of knows she’s the backbone and wants everybody to feel good about the work they’re doing,” he explained. She’s very much one of the sillier people backstage and it’s great fun.”
The show, described as an “out-of-body experience for ‘Lucy’ fans” according to Showbiz Chicago, will be the first professional production that Lundy’s family has seen of his work. And that despite the fact that the only way people notice stage management is when something goes wrong.
He got started in theater in Lockport, taking backstage roles while his brother David was getting acting experience on stage at places including the Kenan Center Theater. David is now a Buffalo actor, but Richard studied theater at Kent State and landed in Chicago where he pursued his back-stage career. A third brother, Dan, is in restaurant management in Buffalo, and the Lundy’s parents, Larry and Jackie still live in Lockport and the family plans to attend the show during it’s month-long engagement, he said.
As for Richard, the tour will carry him around the country and into Canada through this year and into 2014, and he is grateful his wife of 19-years, Carmel, is a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines and can catch up with him often. “The wonderful thing is she is able to come out and visit me,” he said, adding that she plans a trip to Buffalo for his October birthday.
And speaking of Buffalo, Lundy noted that he was deeply impressed with the artistic soul of downtown Buffalo, which he hasn’t visited in a few decades. “It’s amazing how much theater is down here. It’s wonderful.”
Even better, to add his own production to the mix, which he said his director called “a love letter to ‘I Love Lucy,’ “ and a tribute to that whole era of the 1950s.
”We’re not trying to juice it up,” he added. “We’re not trying to show the secret lives of Lucy and Ricky ... it’s a great, honest, straight forward comedy. We’re here trying to make people laugh. That’s a very simple, wonderful, yet hard thing to do.”
IF YOU GO n WHAT: I Love Lucy Live on Stage n WHERE: 710 Main Theatre, Buffalo n WHEN: Sept. 17 through Oct. 13 n MORE INFO: For tickets (previews $42.50 and $52.50; other performances $47.50 and $57.50) call 1-800-745-3000, go to ticketmaster.com.