JAMESTOWN, NY – April 17, 2012 – Tickets for Lucy Fest 2012 have just been put on sale at www.LucyComedyFest.com. The festival will feature performances by Billy Gardell, star of the hit television show Mike and Molly, and fan favorite Paula Poundstone at the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Tickets are also available by telephone at 716.484.0800 and at the Lucy Desi Center (2 W. Third St., Jamestown, NY 14701).
Lucie Arnaz has just signed on as host and musical guest of the Stand-Up Showcase Friday, August 3rd. A star in her own right, Arnaz is the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and has seen critically-acclaimed success wearing the hats of producer, singer, actor and director. She’ll host a showcase of some of the hottest rising comics in the country, co-produced by San Francisco-based Rooftop Comedy, the world’s largest producer of interactive comedy programming. Lucy Fest has featured performances by then-rising stars Ray Romano, Lewis Black and Ellen Degeneres, and aims to catch comics on a similar rise to the top with this showcase.
Gardell, star of CBS’s #1 new series in 2011, Mike and Molly, will headline the show on Saturday, August 4th. A stand-up powerhouse, his latest Comedy Central special Halftime aired in 2011 to rave reviews. His grounded, down-to-earth point of view strikes a strong chord with audiences and stories about his rough childhood, wild adolescence and new family life are executed with the skill of a master craftsman.
Poundstone, named one of the greatest comics of all time by Comedy Central, will return to Jamestown to perform on Thursday, August 2nd. She is a regular panelist on NPR’s weekly news hit quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me and her spontaneity with audiences has become the stuff of legend.
Lucy Fest 2012 will also feature Jamestown hosting their very own “Lucy Olympics”, a competition at City Hall on Friday Aug. 3 & Saturday Aug. 4. Contestants will compete in events including grape stomping from the “Lucy’s Italian Movie” episode, conveyer-belt candy wrapping from the famous “Job Switching” episode, the most comprehensive I Love Lucy trivia contest ever believed to be held, and a costume contest featuring several categories. Contestants testing positive for abnormal levels of Vitameatavegamin or any other performance-enhancing drugs will automatically be disqualified.
Saturday matinees include the return of the critically-acclaimed kids comedy troupe, Story Pirates, and a live radio play. Gregg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator Jess Oppenheimer, returns to Jamestown to direct more radio comedy on the stage of the beautiful Reg Lenna Civic Center. Last year, the Jamestown world premiere of his original production I Love Lucy: The Untold Story was the subject of four separate nationwide broadcasts on SiriusXM™ Radio.
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, or “Lucy Fest,” embodies Ball’s vision for her hometown legacy: a celebration of the comedic arts held annually on the weekend closest to her birth date, August 6. Lucy Fest 2011 commemorated Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday, set an attendance high at 13,000 attendees, featured more than ten comedians from NYC, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles performing over five days, and made international news with the setting of a Guinness World Record for “Most People Dressed as Lucy Ricardo” with 916.
According to an economic impact study conducted by Buffalo firm Paradigm Economics and commissioned by the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the 2011 five-day festival saw 13,000 in attendance and had a direct impact of $3.6 million on Chautauqua County.
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is the first pillar in a four-pillar Legacy of Laughter vision for the organization, including a comedic arts education program, comedy film festival and the establishment of the first national comedy museum and hall of fame.
The mission of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts.