|"I love you, Lucille."|
It was November 30, 1940, and Desi Arnaz telephoned his boss at Manhattan's Roxy Theater at 153 W. 50th Street to explain just why he would not be appearing in the first of two shows he was scheduled for that evening. He was still in Greenwich, Connecticut. But he'd be back in New York that evening and ready to perform for the second show, he promised. And this time, the 25 year old band leader was bringing his wife!
When Desi and Lucille showed up at the theater that night, he insisted on carrying her over the threshold of his dressing room, a symbolic act that foreshadowed the wild success the pair would later enjoy in the world of entertainment.
That night during his band's performance, Desi brought Lucille on stage and introduced her to the crowd as Mrs. Desi Arnaz. The audience threw rice (supplied by the management).
|The Roxy: Featuring Desi Arnaz and his new wife, Lucille Ball|
Diosa Costello (Pepe) and Desi Arnaz (Manuelito) in Too Many Girls (NYPL)
|Ok, Maybe That's a Few Too Many Girls, Desi! (NYPL)|
|Lucille and Desi Dance in Too Many Girls|
|The Press Gets it Wrong. And no, Arnaz was not from Argentina.|
But they had decided to worry not about the studio! And instead, they were thrilled that they had decided to marry, choosing Greenwich since the laws were more lenient and they could be married the same day. (Once there, however, they found that they needed a waiver to marry the same day the license was issued; a friendly judge granted it.) Their wedding ceremony was held at the Byram River Beagle Club. (In "The Marriage License," a 1952 episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy wants Ricky to reenact their wedding weekend and says she wants to stay overnight at the "Byram River Beagle Club.")
After the show at the Roxy that night, they checked into the Pierre Hotel at 2 East 61st Street.
They would remain in New York City for six weeks.
|On the streets of Manhattan, November 1940.|