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Happy 70th birthday to Lucie Arnaz!
Last Edit: WaymanWong 05:04 pm EDT 07/17/21
Posted by: WaymanWong 04:48 pm EDT 07/17/21

Who has memories of seeing Lucie Arnaz in her biggest Broadway hit, ''They're Playing Our Song'' (1979)? She and Robert Klein also did a 40th anniversary reunion concert in 2019 for the Actors Fund. I never saw the original production, so I only know Arnaz's performance in ''They're Playing Our Song'' from video clips and the delightful cast album. I thought I once saw her sing ''If He Really Knew Me'' on TV, but I can't find it on YouTube.

Arnaz's performance earned her a Theatre World Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award. At the 2021 Theatre World Awards podcast the other day, she expressed her gratitude for her Theatre World prize, especially since, as she wryly noted, ''the Tonys forgot'' her. ''They're Playing My Song'' was a big hit and nominated for Best Musical and Klein was up for Best Actor, so was it a surprise that she was passed over? I imagine Angela Lansbury (''Sweeney Todd'') was a slam-dunk to win that season, but did Tovah Feldshuh (''Sarava''), Dorothy Loudon (''Ballroom'') and Alexis Smith (''Platinum''), who were nominated, all stand out more, even in their flop shows?

In any event, Arnaz has returned to Broadway as a replacement in ''Lost in Yonkers,'' ''Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'' and ''Pippin.'' It seems a shame that she didn't get another shot to originate a role in another Broadway show. Plus, Arnaz was a Trustee on the Board of The American Theatre Wing for 15 years (1999–2014). ... She's certainly done lots of theater across the country, once winning a 1986 Sarah Siddons Award for touring with Tommy Tune in ''My One and Only.'' I was most intrigued to find out that she once played Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's ''Master Class'' in 1999.

Asked to list her favorite stage roles, Arnaz once told the MD Theatre Guide: ''Gittel Mosca in “Seesaw” (the script is flawless — really funny); “My One and Only,” (dancing with Tommy Tune); “Master Class” (the amount of material to absorb); “Lost in Yonkers” (Bella is a heartbreaking character); “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (working with Norbert, Jonathan and Greg Jbara and that crazy score); “I Do, I Do!” (working opposite my husband, Laurence Luckinbill); “Annie Get Your Gun” (the score and working outdoors for the whole summer).''
Link Greg in Hollywood: Happy 70th Birthday to Lucie Arnaz!
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