I Love Lucy

Season 1 Episode 17

Lucy Writes a Play

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 04, 1952 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Lucy Writes a Play
Lucy is busily writing the script for the play that her women's club is going to put on, a little something called A Tree Grows in Havana, and she needs Ricky to appear in it. When Ricky sees the script, he immediately declines, so Lucy is then left with no alternative but to get Fred to agree to do the role. Deciding that Fred wouldn't be very good for portraying a Cuban character, Lucy decides to rewrite the play so that it is set in England. Later, however, Ricky decides that he wants to be in the play when he hears that some very important sponsors are going to be at the women's show, so he manages to trick Fred into giving him back the role. Ricky, though, doesn't know that Lucy has rewritten the play. This leads to some pretty disastrous results.moreless

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  • Ethel gets to shine.

    A well paced episode that freed itself from its radio original. (Note the silent first few minutes.) Of course, the idea of amateurs putting on a dreadful play is not that original for a sitcom's premise, but it gives the different actors a chance to step out of their character and do some more varied comedy. Especially Vivian Vance seems to enjoy playing a bad actress, equalling Miss Ball in face-pulling, comedy timing and funny accents. Remember that she was originally hired to be a straight woman to Lucy. This episode even makes a reference to the requirement that was asked of any actress to play Ethel: she had to be fat. Miss Vance/Ethel laughs off this cruel remark and throws herself onto the comedy, with success.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • (After Lucy announces that the play will be switched from the British version to the original Spanish version)
      Ethel: Oh, I hope I don't get my cheerios mixed up with my como esta's.

    • Ethel: (reading her part in Lucy's play) My bean lokita.
      Lucy: (mocking Ethel's butchering of the Spanish dialogue) 'My bean lukita.' That's 'Muy bien, Lucita.'

    • Ethel: (during the British version of the play) Oh, here comes Reggie now!
      (Ricky walks in with a sack of chicken feed and is dressed in Spanish clothes, complete with a sombrero)
      Ricky: Buenas noches, senor es senoritas! Como esta?

      (Later, Lucy and Ethel switch the play from British to their orignial Spanish version)
      Lucy: Mamacita, here he comes, now!
      (Ricky waltzes in wearing British clothes and a white British wig)
      Ricky: Chip chip, cheerio, and all that sort of thing! Anyone for tennis?
      Lucy: Oh no...
      Ricky: What happened?
      Lucy: Oh...

    • Lucy: What's the mater, matter? Uh, what's the matter, mater?

    • Fred: (reading the script) Will you pour me a spot of tea my dear Louse? Louse? (flicks crumb) My dear Louise.

    • (Speaking of Fred's Spanish)
      Ethel: There he sounds just like Ricky.
      Lucy: He sounds like Ricky speaking English.

    • Lucy: Actors are certainly peculiar. They won't work unless you pay them.

    • Ricky: Incidentally, how did you happen to be the one who's writing this play?
      Lucy: How do you think?
      Ricky: You're the only one who has a typewriter?
      Lucy: No, smarty. I happen to be close to the star who's going to play the lead.
      Ricky: Oh, anyone I know?
      Lucy: I can't reveal his name. I'm saving it for publicity.
      Ricky: Uh huh. This star who's going to play the lead - his initials aren't Ricky Ricardo, are they?

    • Lucy: Just think. If our play wins I might become a big famous playwright. I might become another Tennessee Ernie.
      Ricky: That's Tennessee Williams.
      Lucy: You know, that's a very interesting name -Tennessee. I wonder what I should call myself. How about South Dakota Ricardo? Nah, it's not so good is it?
      Ricky: Why don't you tell them you were born in Providence, then they can call you Rhode Island Red.

    • Lucy: There. It is finished. One hundred twenty-five pages dripping with drama, dripping with intrigue, dripping with excitement.
      Ricky: I better get the mop.

    • Ethel: Do you go alone?
      Lucy: Si, I go alone.
      Ethel: Eh, eh,eh. I think you go there to meet your liver.
      Lucy: Lover!

    • Ricky: I am sorry that you are not feeling well, Mama Cita. Are you having trouble with your lover?
      Lucy: Liver!

  • NOTES (1)


    • Lucy explains to Ricky that she's writing a play for a play-writing contest, which could win her notoriety thus becoming "another Tennessee Ernie (she really meant Tennessee Williams, the famous playwright)." Recording artist Tennessee Ernie Ford would later guest star in three episodes of I Love Lucy: "Tennessee Ernie Visits," and "Tennessee Ernie Hangs On," in season three, and "Tennessee Bound" in season four.

    • For Darryl B. Mayer, the film producer Lucy expects to see at the play's performance, the writers combined the names of two famous studio heads: Darryl F. Zanuck (Fox) and Louis B. Mayer (MGM).

    • Lucy's play, A Tree Grows in Havanna, derives its title from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, orginally a novel by Betty Smith, and at the time of the first broadcast a musical on Broadway.