LUCILLE BALL COMEDY FESTIVAL, JAMESTOWN, NY

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LUCILLE BALL DESI ARNAZ CENTER FOR COMEDY

The Lucille Ball legacy has been proudly honored right here in Lucy’s hometown of Jamestown by the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy since 1996. For decades, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz played a vital role in television and on the big screen, and we’re fortunate to have the privilege of preserving their memory and the impact they’ve both had on the world through all of the fun  costumes and memorabilia on display awards they were both given, photographs of both their personal and TV lives, and much more! We’re constantly swapping out exhibits for new ones, so even if you’ve visited the center before, it’s always a new experience like the first time you visited!

With infinite gratitude, we salute Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz with our mission: Their Lives. Their Loves. Their Legacy of Laughter. The healing power of love and laughter has and always will be the driving force that makes Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz TV favorites for people of all ages.

BILL ENGVALL, KATHLEEN MADIGAN, AND “COMICS TO WATCH” SHOWCASE HEADLINE LUCILLE BALL COMEDY FESTIVAL

JAMESTOWN, NY –  Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, and a “Comics to Watch” showcase of upcoming comedians presented by Pandora will headline the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 1st-4th.

Additionally, the leads from the touring stage show hit I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, three nights of late-night comedy in the Tropicana Room that will be co-produced by Rooftop Comedy and recorded as a live comedy album, Lucille Ball’s former personal secretary Wanda Clark, the GI’s of Comedy, Summer Wind Cruises, and Gregg Oppenheimer’s Live Lucy Radio Play will be a part of the four-day festival.

Tickets for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and can be purchased by visiting www.lucycomedyfest.com or calling (716)484-0800.  

Bill Engvall, who will be performing at the Reg Lenna Civic Center on August 3rd, is a headlining member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Touring alongside the likes of Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy, Engvall’s Blue Collar Comedy movies have sold more than 9 million units and are among some of the most watched specials in Comedy Central History.

Kathleen Madigan, who will be performing at the Reg Lenna on August 2nd, has never been hotter in her 25 year career.  She is a frequent performer on Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson and nearly every other late night talk show. Her stand-up show has been featured in 3 hour-long specials on HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central; and she has also performed for American soldiers overseas on multiple tours with the likes of Robin Williams and Lewis Black. She’s a regular on SIRIUS-XM Radio, and recently won the listener determined “SIRIUS Challenge Cup,” deeming her the number one favorite comedian played on SIRIUS-XM radio.

On the evening of August 1st, The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and Pandora will be teaming up to present the stand-up showcase, “Comics to Watch”. Additionally, Pandora and the Lucy Desi Center are working together to develop an interactive exhibit with data from Pandora’s Comedy Genome Project TM. The exhibit will be located at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station during the festival.

“Pandora is very excited to be working with the Lucy Desi Center on this first-of-its kind comedy attraction,” said Kelly Anneken, comedy curator at Pandora. “Helping Jamestown visitors learn more about America’s rich humorous history is perfectly aligned with Pandora’s mission to connect our listeners to comedy they love. We’re also thrilled to carry on the legacy of one of American comedy’s greatest stars by presenting a showcase at this year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.”

Pandora launched Comedy in May of 2011, and currently features more than 20,000 comedy tracks in its catalog from more than 1,500 comedians.

The lead actors that portray Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in the hit, I Love Lucy® Live on Stage, will also be visiting Jamestown during the festival. They will be giving an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at what goes in to making their hit show. In addition to this show, I Love Lucy® Live on Stage will be performing at Shea’s Performing Arts Center from September 17-October 13.

By popular demand, Gregg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator Jess Oppenheimer, returns to Jamestown to direct more radio comedy onstage at the Crown Theatre. Gregg’s live radio shows at previous festivals have been featured on SIRIUS-XM Radio. This year’s show will feature two episodes, Baby Snooks and Liz Changes her Mind, and will be performed in the style of old-time radio.

Rooftop Comedy, who has co-produced late-night comedy shows in the Tropicana Room in previous years, will be recording a live comedy album for this year’s late-night shows. Rooftop Comedy produces original event programming, from local comedy festivals to national comedy events and tours. Past year’s performers include Harrison Greenbaum, Adam Newman, Joe Machi, Phoebe Robinson, Kyle Grooms and more.

In addition, there will be free Latin dance classes, a comedy cruise, grape stomping, chocolate wrapping, Desi Conga Workshop’s, Lucille Ball Trivia Contest, and Lucille and Ethel Dinner shows.
Over 10,000 people attended last year to enjoy the FUN. This year there will be a live auction (information below) and fashion show featuring memorabilia from Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz and Melody Thomas Scott, star of the Young and Restless. The auction will be held at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station.
In addition to this year’s festival line-up, The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy revealed they are in the master-planning stage of developing a national center for comedy in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, NY.  Jack Rouse Associates (JRA), named by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the world’s more prominent design firms,” has recently been contracted to develop a master plan for a national comedy center which could be based at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station.

JRA has produced museum attractions for clients including Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center, LEGOLAND California, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the NCAA Hall of Champions, Warner Brothers, Ripley’s Believe It or Not in London, Curious George Goes to Town, and countless other museums and theme park attractions around the globe.

ABOUT THE LUCILLE BALL COMEDY FESTIVAL

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 6th. The 2013 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will take place August 1st-4th.

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 center for comedy.

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.

Live Auction Details:

Live Auction & Fashion Show, Melody Thomas Scott

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Presents:
Sat 8/03
12:00 pm
Jamestown Gateway Train Station
Lucille Ball Live Auction Aug 3, 2013, Jamestown, NY Fashion Show

Lucille Ball Live Auction Aug 3, 2013, Jamestown, NY Fashion Show

Rare Lucille Ball memorabilia and world-class designers to be featured in live auction and fashion show.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will feature a fashion show and live auction, featuring some of the rarest Lucille Ball memorabilia and most high-end designers, at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station on Saturday, August 3 at noon. Registration for the auction will begin that morning at 11:15am. The event will begin with a fashion show featuring items from the collection of Melody Thomas Scott, star of Young and the Restless. Some of the world’s most famous designers will be represented in the showcase, including Christian Dior, Betsey Johnson, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Bob Mackie, Gucci, Monolo Blahnik, Donna Karen, Issac Mizrahi and many more. All dresses will be available to purchase during the live auction.Dresses will be worn by various past participants of the Lakewood area Distinguished Young Women series, including 2013 participants Veronica Schuver, Olivia Nugent, Alyssa Leathers, and Allison Munella. Following the fashion show, a live auction featuring some of the rarest Lucille Ball memorabilia will take place. Memorabilia from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that will be auctioned includes:
  1. Lucille Ball’s red velvet dress from Mame.
  2. Lucille Ball’s pink sequined costume from the first episode of The Milton Berle Show.
  3. Lucille Ball’s Charlie Chaplin costume (jacket and pants) from the The Lucy Show episode, “Chris’ New Year’s Eve Party”.
  4. Lucille Ball’s monogrammed sewing case with initials engraved and sewing supplies enclosed.
  5. The Lucy Plate by Danbury Mint (one of 100 in existence).
  6. Collection of two clear glass ashtrays from Lucille Ball’s Beverly Hills home.
  7. 1956 TV Stage magazine with Lucy and Desi on the cover (mounted).
  8. Original Two Smart People (1946) movie poster starring Lucille Ball and John Hodiak.

At the conclusion of the event, winners of the silent auction (which will take place throughout the weekend) will be announced. Rare dolls from Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint along with items personally donated by Gregg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator Jess Oppenheimer, will be available to bid on during the festival.  Bids can be made by telephone or e-mail, but need to be arranged by contacting the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy at (716) 484-0800 or info@lucy-desi.com by August 1.  

For more information on the live auction and fashion show, along with other festival performers including Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, ‘Comics to Watch’, and events, visit: www.lucycomedyfest.com.


Lucille Ball Memorial Park  – 40 Dunham Avenue, Celoron, New York
Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center – 2 West 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
Jamestown Gateway Train Station – 211 West 2nd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
Reg Lenna Civic Center Theater – 116 East 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
Willow Bay Theater – 21 East 3rd Street, 4th Floor, Jamestown, NY 14701
Infinity Performing Arts – 115 East 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
Spire Theater – 317 East 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
Contributors: LDCC, LBCF 
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Related Story:

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Announces Partnerships, New Events

By Dusten Rader, The Post-Journal

The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy has teamed up with the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival and national partner, Pandora Comedy, to bring two new events to the region.

According to Steve Neilans, communications coordinator for the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will produce a night of comedy called the “Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs” for its regional partner, the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, Friday, July 5, and a “Comics to Watch” showcase for Pandora Comedy, Thursday, Aug. 1.

The Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs will be headlined by comedian Tammy Pescatelli, winner of Comedy Central’s “Stand-up Showdown” in 2010 and finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” season two. Pescatelli also participated in last year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival as a host and as an entertainer. According to Pescatelli, she’ll bring the funny with her to Ellicottville.

“That’s what I do – I find the funny,” said Pescatelli. “Here’s the thing about outdoor festivals: generally, for comedy, they aren’t very good. They’re like, ‘Oh boy that’s hard because there are so many distractions.’ But, I’m so excited because I know this area, and we’re all just so happy to outside that we’ll consume it no matter where it is.”

Tony Deyo and a collection of other comedians whose credentials include: NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno; CBS’ “Late Show” with David Letterman; and NBC’s “Late Night” with Jimmy Fallon, will also be performing during the Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs.

For more information about the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, which will feature Creedence Clearwater Revival and country-music star Gretchen Wilson, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.

Pescatelli will return to Jamestown on Thursday, Aug. 1, to host the Comics to Watch showcase, which is sponsored by Pandora Comedy.

“I’ve been trying to help as much as I can to bring the Lucy-Fest into the comedy world because I really believe there is so much potential in it,” said Pescatelli. “So, I think it’s really great that they decided to hook up with Pandora. It’s going to be a lot of exposure, not only for the Lucy-Fest but for each of the individual comics that participate.”

Pescatelli will be joined at the Comics to Watch showcase by comedians Keith Alberstadt, Joe Machi, Cy Amundson and Jackie Kashian.

“The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has featured then-rising comedians such as Ellen Degeneres, Lewis Black, and Ray Romano in the past and aims to do the same with this showcase,” said Neilans.

Alberstadt is a contributing writer for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update series and National Lampoon. He is also a regular performer for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Machi is the winner of the New York Underground Festival’s Emerging Comedian award, and he recently appeared on “Late Night.” Amundson performed during last summer’s Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, and was named as CMT’s Next Big Comic in 2011. Kashian has appeared on the TBS’ “Conan,” “This American Life” with Ira Glass and has a half-hour special on Comedy Central.

According to Neilans, in addition to the Comics to Watch showcase, Pandora Comedy and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy are working together to develop an interactive exhibit featuring Pandora’s “Comedy Genome Project,” which will be located at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station during the the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Pandora launched Comedy in May of 2011, and currently features more than 20,000 comedy tracks in its catalog from more than 1,500 comedians.

“Pandora is very excited to be working with the Lucy Desi Center on this first-of-its kind comedy attraction,” said Kelly Anneken, comedy curator at Pandora. “Helping Jamestown visitors learn more about America’s rich humorous history is perfectly aligned with Pandora’s mission to connect our listeners to comedy they love. We’re also thrilled to carry on the legacy of one of American comedy’s greatest stars by presenting a showcase at this year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.”

Tickets for Comics to Watch, Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, the GIs of Comedy, Ellicottville Mountain of Laughs and other events during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which is scheduled for Aug. 1-4, are available by visiting LucyComedyFest.com.



Written by Cassandria Lucianna Arnaz

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