Dinner Date

Area residents who love Lucy and are looking for a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day will have an opportunity to enjoy a dinner date with laughs and romance on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy will host a Valentine’s evening of live comedy at its museum attractions. The event will include a cocktail hour, a candlelight dinner in the Tropicana Room, live comedy by Nick Siracuse and a screening of the “I Love Lucy” episode “The Marriage License.”

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktail hour in the Desilu Studios among Emmy Awards and vintage memorabilia. Beer and wine will be served at no cost, but rather on a donation basis.

“It’s cool to be in a museum in the evening and to be having a glass of wine while standing next to Emmy awards, vintage costumes and memorabilia.” said Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center. “It’s a fun way to start the evening before moving upstairs to the Tropicana Room for dinner.”

According to Gunderson, the center has hosted a Valentine’s Day event similar in nature for the last two years, but the biggest change to this year’s event is the addition of live entertainment.

“Stand-up comedian Nick Siracuse, who has written for Jay Leno and Arsenio Hall, is a great comedian,” said Gunderson. “He is pretty clean, and has intelligent and witty writing. I know he works well because at the closing of his performances people are always asking where they can buy his album. He won’t be doing anything particularly Lucy related, but he might make some cracks about performing in the Tropicana Room.”

Guests will be served dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the re-creation of Ricky Ricardo’s famous Manhattan night club. The dinner will be catered by the Marvin House and will include two entree options: Caribbean-style chicken with rice or vegetarian lasagna as well as a small dessert.

“People always think traditionally of a dinner and movie date for Valentine’s Day,” said Gunderson. “So, this year we did more of a comedy club feel that includes dinner, live comedy and an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ that is a little shorter than a whole film. Nick Siracuse will go on at around 7:15 p.m., so there will be a portion of the date where we just play music so that you and your date can talk to each other. Our staff will try to provide hospitality by making the atmosphere as comfortable and romantic as possible.”

After dinner, guests will proceed to the museum’s screening room, where the projector that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had in their home is located, to watch the “I Love Lucy” episode “The Marriage License.”

“It’s the episode where Lucy and Ricky re-create the day they got engaged,” said Gunderson. “It’s sort of a little romantic, but still pretty light. I think for every couple, regardless of the status of their relationship, it will be a light-hearted, fun evening.”

Because The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy is a nonprofit, proceeds from the event will serve to support further comedic programs and museum maintenance. Although the event has grown over the years, the price of the event has been reduced.

“This year is a special year because we’ve added more bang for your buck and reduced the price; so you can feel good about attending the event because it’s like you’re making a donation,” said Gunderson. “Plus, it’s a really fun and unique experience, and it’s hard to find live comedy right in this vicinity. I think anyone of any age can enjoy the event.”

Tickets to the event are $75 per couple, and groups can be accommodated as well. Space is limited so reservations are required. They can be made by calling 484-0800 or online at www.Lucy-Desi.com. The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center is located at 2 W. Third St. in Jamestown.