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Arts and Entertainment

We Love Lucy: "Lucille Ball at 100 & 'I Love Lucy' at 60" Exhibit Honors Life & Work of TV's Lovebirds at the Hollywood Museum

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It's a pretty safe bet that at any hour of the day, somewhere in the world "I Love Lucy" is being shown on television. TV's most beloved sitcom set the bar high for comedy on the small screen, and was rife with pioneering firsts, some unsung, like the development of the three-camera technique and its editing machine by co-star Desi Arnaz. Other first were its pregnant co-creator and star, Lucille Ball, having TV's first baby, and the interracial marriage of a redhead from Jamestown, New York and a feisty Cuban bandleader.

Much of that redhead and bandleader's real-life marriage was inspiration for "I Love Lucy," which celebrates--if you can wrap your head around it--its 60th anniversary this year. Add to that the August 6th 100th birthday of Ball, who died in April 1989, and the two legends are more than deserving of a museum-quality retrospective. Such a retrospective has been mounted and is running at the Hollywood Museum.

Taking the entire second floor of the four-floor museum in the former Max Factor building on Highland at Hollywood, "Lucille Ball at 100 & 'I Love Lucy' at 60," will be on display to November 30, showcasing memorabilia saluting the lives and love of a couple of Hollywood's most famous lovebirds.

The collection for the Lucy exhibit is extensive, from the signed scripts to the old movie magazines and TV Guides. Games, dolls, awards, costumes, and other odds and ends make this like the most amazing Lucy garage sale behind glass cases. Though there is nothing to touch, video screens set up in various sections let you watch Ball and Arnaz hit the road in "The Long, Long Trailer," or Lucy wreck havoc on a southern plantation foxhunt as Mame.

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While the exhibit is aesthetically a bit like a cut-and-glue scrapbook or school project assemblage, for fans of Lucy (including those who showed up in full Lucy outfits) this is still a staggering gathering of goodies and images not usually seen in person in one place. Placards explain some of the objects, their significance, and where they came from, and to help get you immersed in the spirit of the exhibit, a large screen at one end shows highlights from "Lucy" you'll be sure to recognize.

The Museum itself is pretty amazing, and if you're a movie history buff, it's worth the trip and the $15 admission on any day. Nearly every inch of the walls, room to room and in the hallways, are fit with photos of stars and old Hollywood, posters and lobby cards, autographs, and the floors filled with costumes and other collectibles. While you may have to look up on Wikipedia some of the long-gone golden era folks, like I heard one family suggest to an inquisitive child, teens will love the Simpsons, Glee, and High School Musical stuff woven in the impressive collection.

"Lucilly Ball at 100 & 'I Love Lucy' at 60" is at the Hollywood Museum until November 30th.