Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. $12 for 12 weeks.

Dean's Review: "I Love Lucy: Live on Stage"

The mother of all TV sitcoms, "I Love Lucy" went on the air back in 1951 has pretty much never been off ever since.

Wednesday night in Chicago, a new show opened that attempts to recreate what it might have been like to be in the audience at a filming of the classic show. 

I was there, and they've got some 'splaining to do.

I'm a fan of I Love Lucy, I can still watch the classic comedy and laugh but there was a lot missing in "I Love Lucy: Live on Stage."

The Broadway playhouse at Water Tower was set up like a 1950's TV studio with the familiar living room on one side and the Tropicana Night Club on the other. Beyond the familiarity, it was a well-intentioned but halfhearted imitation of some of the most classic characters in TV history.

For 90 minutes with no intermission,  they re-create two early, not especially funny episodes, interspersed with some singers doing old commercial jingles, 1950's hit parade songs and audience banter in-between the scenes that were almost more entertaining than the "Lucy" re-creation.  

While the flaming red hair, Cuban accent and Fred and Ethel Mertz were all there, so much wasn't that made "I Love Lucy" so beloved all over the world.  They missed so many signatures, but mostly the show's warmth and charm.

It mostly made me want to see the real deal.  "I Love Lucy: Live" is cute, but lukewarm. It’s here until November 11th.  

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun