Although Lucille Ball stands at or near the top of every list of comedic actresses, and her "I Love Lucy" television shows live on forever in reruns, the last three decades of her life were marked by bitterness and failure. Fortunately, she had Lee Tannen as a buffer.
Tannen, a distant relative of her last husband, Gary Morton, was a rabid Lucy fan from childhood and, when finally accorded a chance to meet the legend, stayed at her side for the better part of those last 30 years. After her death, he compiled his reminiscences into a book entitled "I Loved Lucy."
That book is now a stage play, receiving its world premiere at the Laguna Playhouse where a pair of terrific actors bring the Lucy-Lee relationship back to life under the spirited direction of Todd Weeks. It's a box of theatrical bonbons for Lucy fans, of whom there are legion.