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The Operetta

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Camille
PrinceLancelot
I Love Lucy The Operetta
Previous episode: The Handcuffs               Next episode: Job Switching

PlotEdit

Lucy's treasurer of the women's club, but she's done a horrible job keeping track of the money. The treasury is bare, so Lucy decides to have the club put on an operetta to raise money. To save royalty fees and having to pay someone to write the play's script and the songs, Lucy decides to write the operetta herself. Ethel will star as the lovely peasant girl Lily; Ricky will be Prince Lancelot, who falls madly in love with Lily; Fred is Squire Quinn, the owner of the town's inn; and Lucy is Camille, the snaggletoothed Queen of the Gypsies, who warns Lily not to marry Prince Lancelot, or terrible things will happen.

Since Lucy has no money in the treasury, she pays for the scenery and the costumes by writing a check that is postdated until the operetta is already over and has brought in ticket sales. The first part of the operetta goes off beautifully, but, just like Camille warned, trouble strikes when Lily and Prince Lancelot wed. Lucy's postdated check bounced, and a bunch of men come to take away the scenery and costumes in the middle of the wedding scene. These men are ruthless, and they think nothing of taking props right out of the actors' hands or taking off Ricky's costume and leaving him in the middle of the stage in his underwear. Lucy tries to keep the show going by singing a reprise of her gypsy song, but the men carry her right off the stage.

TriviaEdit

  • Lucy is said to be club treasurer in this episode, but later in the season, when she runs for president of the club, she acts as though she's never been treasurer. In fact, when it comes time to nominate people for the position of treasurer, Lucy scoffs to Ethel about what a terrible job it is when nobody nominates her.
  • In this episode Ethel knows how to play the piano, but later in episode 173 'Ragtime' Ethel only knows the letter 'A', seems she forgot how to play somewhere along the way.
  • Camille supposedly had her prophecy of Lily and Lancelot's marriage ending in disaster by taking the wing of an owl and the eye of a gnat and putting them in a pot.
  • In later episodes, Ethel sings "Lily of the Valley" while she's busy doing housework.
  • Lucy agrees to play Camille the Gypsy and let Ethel be Lily when Ethel dominates in a sing-off.
  • Because the men come to take back the unpaid scenery/costumes, resulting in the show ending early, we don't get to see past Lily and Prince Lancelot's marriage. Lucy wrote a very complex script, though, and, had we gotten to see the entire operetta, it would have been very long. There were two acts, a multitude of scenes per act (18 scenes in the first act alone), and part of the plot twist involved some sort of nonsense about Lily being kidnapped by highway men, because the leader of the highway men has been turned into a frog by the wicked witch, and Lily is really the frog/leader's long-lost sister who was separated from him when they were tadpoles. Then, later in the plot, the prince who thinks he's a peasant but is really a frog works for Squire Quinn at the inn. Come again?!
  • The official names of the operetta's songs, according to the DVD's song selection feature, are "The Pleasant Peasant Girls," "The Good Squire Quinn," "Lily of the Valley," "Queen of the Gypsies," "The Troops of the King," and "Good Prince Lancelot."
  • This episode originally had a scene where Lucy asked Ricky to be in the operetta. It was cut for timing. Ricky gives Lucy little notes he wrote out about how each of her different persuasion techniques (smooching, pestering, and wheedling) wouldn't work on him. The last note he gives her, when Lucy starts crying, says, "I can't stand crying. I'll do it." Also, Ricky said that Fred asked him to be in it, and Ricky thought that he and Fred might get some laughs out of it.
  • According to an article in a 1953 issue of Newsweek, this episode was the first one that little Lucie Arnaz was allowed to stay up and watch.

QuotesEdit

  • Lucy: That was only the beginning. From then on, I borrowed from the household account so that the treasury acccount would balance. Then, I borrowed from the treasury account so that the household account would balance. And on and on, and back and forth, like a tennis game, and somewhere along the line, I lost the ball...
  • Lucy: Where do I go to get my teeth snaggled?
  • Lucy: (to Ethel) Then, Ricky comes in. He's the prince, and he takes one look at you and falls madly in love with you. That'll take a little acting...
  • Ricky: (singing) I am the good Prince Lancelot! I love to sing and dance a lot! I have an eye for a (forgets words) da-da-da-...

Lucy: (blows whistle) None of that "da-da-da" stuff! Let's hear the words. They're good words, let's hear them!

Ricky: GOOD words?! "Lancelot," "dance a lot"!

  • Fred: (singing) I'm Squire Quinn, and I wanna shout about my inn on the river out!
  • Lucy: (singing) I gave them a check.

Chorus girl: (singing) [The check] bow-how-how-how-ounced! It bow-how-how-how-ounced! (very fast and operatic) It bow-how-how-how-how-how-how-how-ounced!

Lucy: It came back?!

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