Exclusive Interview with EURIAMIS LOSADA

Iride Aparicio
L-R EURIAMIS LOSADA & THEA BROOKS          Photo: Ed Krieger

L-R EURIAMIS LOSADA & THEA BROOKS          Photo: Ed Krieger 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Adapted for the stage from the most popular show ever presented on television,  the ”I Love Lucy”® show, which ran from 1951 to l957 on CBS, and, perhaps, to honor its performers by “bringing them back to life” to the millions of  “Lucy’s” fans,  RICK SPARKS staged and directed the  I LOVE LUCY® LIVE ON STAGE, a play. that uses the characters from the original show: Lucy, (Lucille Ball) Ricky (Desi Arnaz) Ethel (Vivian Vance) and Fred ( William Frawley) played by different actors. His play retrogresses the audience to l952 transporting it, vicariously, to the interior of a studio in the Desilu Playhouse in Los Angeles to watch the filming live of two hilarious episodes of  the “I Love Lucy” show: “The Benefit” and “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined”  

As part of the SHN Special Engagement Programs, the brand-new  hit stage show will be presented at the SHN Curran Theatre in San Francisco, from November 11 to November 23.

Playing the lead role of famous Cuban band leader “Ricky Ricardo”, in this theatrical production is EURIAMIS LOSADA, a young Cuban Singer/Actor who came to the United States at the age of six, and who not only looks like Desi Arnaz, who created and played the original role in “I LOVE LUCY®,” but has a lot of talent and acting experience. In a telephone interview, CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL had a conversation with LOSADA  prior to the show’s opening in the city.

C.W.B  Is Euriamis your real name or your stage name?

E.L “Euriamis is my real name, the name that is in my birth certificate. It is a name that my grandmother made up, a combination of Eurialo, (A Greek character who appears in two episodes of  Virgilio’s Eneide) which is my father’s name  and Aramis, the name of  one of the three Musketeers.”

C.W.B.  How did you get into acting?

E.L: “My father is a pastor so I always loved singing in church and doing plays there, but  I started acting when I was in High School.  It was there where I got the “Bug.” After a year in college I began acting professionally in different theatres in  South Florida among them: Actors Play House, New Theatre, and a hole bunch of others.”

C.W.B.  When did you decide to make acting a profession?

E.L. “I guess I was nineteen, when I really started working as an actor, but I   decided to become an actor when I was still in High School. “

C.W.B.  What made you decide to become an actor?

E.L. “Ironically, I never got to see the show, but when I was still in High School I saw a program for “JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECNICOLOR DREAMCOAT” and I realized that there was a lot of theatre in South Florida.  Then, when I was looking at the program, looking at the guy playing Joseph, I told myself. “You can get paid doing theatre?” I had never thought about it before, when I was doing plays in High School. I have never thought that people could select theatre as a profession. You can get money playing a role? That thought worked like a switch to me.”

C.W.B.  Talking about roles.  How did you get the role of Ricky Ricardo?

Oh my Gosh,” Losada tell us laughing.  “That is an interesting story.  I moved on to Los Angeles to pursue film and television and I had not done theatre in a long time. Except at the beginning of this year, when I did a musical in LA.  So I worked for a couple of months and at a cast party I happen to meet one of my fellow cast mates that said. “Don’t you miss doing theatre?” And I said that I missed it a lot because I had not done live theatre in six years, so he said.  You know, I am going to put you in contact with my friend RICK SPARKS, (Who had directed the National tour show of  “I LOVE LUCY”) I don’t know if they have casted the role of Ricky yet,  but you would be ideal for it because you are Cuban and you can sing, and you are funny. So I am going to put you in contact with him. So, the next day he sent me and e-mail saying:  “I told Rick about you, and they are actually looking for a Ricky right now. Send him an e-mail and follow up.” I actually sent RICK SPARKS  and e-mail introducing myself and telling him who I was and I enclosed a Resume, and the next day my manager told me, that they had requested an audition for the project.  The audition was in two days. And I went to the first audition and they called me back that afternoon. They gave the last call back and then an audition with THEA, (the girl who plays Lucy) to read with me and that was it.  It was a very interesting story.”

C.W.B.  How much did you know about Desi Arnaz and the “I Love Lucy"(r) Show before you took the role? ”

E.L.  “I grew up watching the show. When I got here from Cuba, my mother loved watching the show because she said that her sister was like “Lucy” always doing something silly and getting in trouble. And my father told me, when I was six, that Desi was the most famous Cuban in the U.S. So watching the show I felt a sense of pride because he looked like me. I had the same features that he did. Also growing up, during the Summer between Middle and High School, I will put three episodes a day and I eat ice-cream and watch the show. So when I went to High School I was really fat from all the ice-cream.” He laughs.

C.W.B.  How are you preparing for the role?

E.L. “ I still watch the show every day.  I am working my way thorough the entire series. Every time when I have a few hours I sit down and watch the shows, and as I watch Desi, I observe that there is certain confidence in him that is powerful. It becomes palpable to me  that he knows that he has worked hard to achieve what he did. I am trying to borrow that from him.”

C.W.B. What is what you like most about  “I LOVE LUCY?”

What I liked about the show then, (when he was a kid) is still what I like now: How honest they all were with each other.  The relations they have with each other were “real” on the screen. You believed  that Ricky and Lucy really loved each other.  So, in spite of all the outrageous comedy, there were “real” connections among the characters. I think that is the reason why the show is still in syndication, because it translates forever. You can see them making decisions, you can follow their journey, it is always real and honest. People relate to those things.”

L-R EURIAMIS LOSADA & THEA BROOKS          Photo: Ed KriegerC.W. B. How much do you know about Desi?

E.L. “I have studied him, quite a bit as a person, but I also studied his work. I know about everything he had to go through to gain respect in this town (Florida) because he was just a Cuban band Leader”

C.W.B. Are you familiar with the technical changes he introduced in Hollywood?

E.L.  “Do you mean the innovation with the three cameras? Yes. My friend was in a class in UCLA who dedicated one whole day to talk about how DESI ARNAZ revolutionized the industry with his technique which included using audience for his television show.”

C.W.B How do you plan to represent DESI ARNAZ on stage?

E.L. “With a lot of respect.”  

Born in Santiago de Cuba on March 2, l917, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha was a member of an aristocratic Hispanic family. In l869, the Queen of Spain had appointed Don Manuel I, his great grandfather, as Mayor of Santiago, and gave his  son Don Manuel II and his wife Ventura, a nice piece of Southern California. (which included Ventura Country, Beverly Hills, the Wilshire district of Lon Angeles, Ventura Boulevard in San Fernando Valley and Arnaz Drive in Beverly Hills (which they sold almost for almost nothing.).

As  written in “A Book by Desi Arnaz” which he published in l976,  His grandfather, Desiderio was a Doctor, who cured his poor patients for free. His father Desiderio II a pharmacist who in l932 was elected Mayor of Santiago. and was sworn as congressman, but then a political revolution put his father in jail for a few weeks and when he was found innocent, he left Santiago and  moved to Miami. Desi joined him in Key West. In exile. his father who owned houses, in Cuba (which were burned)  and a farm with cattle, horses and chickens, that were slaughtered after president Machado lost his power. In Miami, young Desi found his father living in a warehouse. (his mother remained in Cuba) and surviving  by selling broken tiles. Desi’s first “job” in America was cleaning Canary cages.

But he was well educated by the Jesuits in Cuba, and he knew how to sing and play guitar, so singing in the Roney Plaza in Miami Beach and later in night clubs with the Xavier Cugat, Orchestra, he began getting fans. He then started his own orchestra and teaching to dance a  “conga line” to the American people, while beating the Conga drum”  (in frustration) while singing. he became famous.

How this Cuban kid, after marrying Lucille Ball, one of the greatest comedians the world had known, started a band, a radio show, became a movie star, joined the army entertained the troops, and revolutionized the filming  of a TV series by using film and three cameras, and with his wife, became the owner of Desilu studios, one of the powerful studios in Hollywood. is amazing. His creation, “The I LOVE LUCY show was top for many years, won three emmys and numerous awards. It is still shown in syndication. The story of DESI ARNAZ is a true story. The type of story that makes us all believe in  “The American Dream.”