‘Spark Emotion’

Little Theatre To Present ‘Send Me No Flowers’

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will open its production of the 1960 Broadway musical “Send Me No Flowers” with 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Photos by Aubrey Russell

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is set to present a modern and localized take on an old-fashioned Broadway musical.

The local theater company will open its production of “Send Me No Flowers” this weekend with 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday, and a 2 p.m. matinee performance Sunday.

Under the artistic direction of Todd Pullan, the Little Theatre production has employed some creative license by updating the original 1960 adaptation to include references to the present time and local reference rather than the Westchester County and New York City region — the setting of the original play.

Pullan said this decision was influenced by the theater and opera companies housed at Chautauqua Institution, which previously staged public domain productions in order to make them more accessible to wider audiences.

“The cast and I have had fun connecting those local bridges, from changing the dialogue to the current price of a house cleaning to including the name of a local physician or newspaper,” Pullan said. “To me, theater should spark emotion, and even though (‘Send Me No Flowers’) is a comedy, I think it’s also really moving when it comes to relationships — especially the one between a husband and wife.”

The original Broadway production of “Send Me No Flowers” opened on Dec. 5, 1960, and later was adapted into a 1964 film of the same name featuring Rock Hudson, Doris Day and Tony Randall.

The show is a three-act comedy that follows its protagonist, George Kimball, who’s favorite hobby is hypochondria. When Kimball mistakenly overhears his doctor discussing another patient with heart trouble, he prepares to meet the end bravely, sure it is “his time.” Putting his affairs in order, he writes a heartbreaking letter to his wife to be read as his eulogy. He even arranges a good second husband for his soon-to-be widow, with a cemetery plot for three: himself, his wife and the new future “Mr. Kimball.”

In addition to this weekend’s run of shows, “Send Me No Flowers” will also be staged at the Little Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3. A final 2 p.m. matinee performance will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4.

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is located at 18 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 483-1095 or visit lucilleballlittletheatre.org. Box office hours are 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.