‘Mama’s Family’ star performs ‘Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show’ in Bethlehem on Aug. 24
From a press release:
Comedian, actress, and singer Vicki Lawrence, best known for starring in television shows like “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Mama’s Family,” will perform “Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show” at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.
Tickets, which are $29.50, $39.50, and $49.50, plus applicable fees, go on sale this Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at sandseventcenter.com, the Event Center box office (77 Sands Blvd., Bethlehem), ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
Multi-talented Vicki Lawrence was born in Inglewood, California, where she excelled in dancing and singing, was a cheerleader, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her graduating class. From 1965 to 1967, she sang with the Young Americans musical group and also appeared in the feature film “The Young Americans,” which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary. During her senior year of high school, she sent Carol Burnett a letter which included a local newspaper article mentioning their resemblance. Lawrence invited Burnett to the local fire department’s “Miss Fireball Contest,” in which she was performing. Burnett, looking for an actress to play her kid sister on her new variety series, contacted Lawrence and made arrangements to come to the event. The rest is television history. “The Carol Burnett Show” premiered in the fall of 1967, the same year Lawrence entered UCLA to study Theater Arts. She spent 11 years with Burnett, earning one Emmy Award and five Emmy nominations. In 1995, Simon and Schuster published her story, an autobiography entitled “Vicki!: The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball.”
In 1968, Lawrence went to Vietnam to visit the U.S. troops with Johnny Grant. Several years later, in 1973, she received a gold record as a recording artist for her international hit single, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” After the “Burnett Show” ended, she went on to star in her own TV series, “Mama’s Family,” with Ken Berry, Dorothy Lyman, Beverly Archer, and Allan Kayser. The last original episode was made in January of 1990, completing five years of first-run syndication. The show still can be seen daily throughout most of the country.
Lawrence was the honorary head of the D.A.R.E. program in Long Beach, California for two years while her kids were still young and in school. Around that time, she and her husband also became members of the Long Beach Police Officer’s Association that raises money to protect the widows and families of slain police officers. Her efforts to protect women’s rights were recognized in 1988 when Lawrence was the first woman to be honored as “Person of the Year” by the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Shortly thereafter, she became one of the few successful female game show hosts when she took on the daytime network version of “Win, Lose or Draw.”
She further perfected her hosting skills on her own daytime talk show, appropriately called “Vicki!,” from 1992 to 1994. She received critical acclaim when she was the only talk show host since Oprah Winfrey to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy in her freshman year. In the fall of 1997, she briefly returned to daytime talk as the host of “Fox After Breakfast” from New York City.
On stage, she has appeared in numerous productions, including “Carousel,” “Send Me No Flowers,” “No, No, Nanette,” “My Fat Friend,” “Chapter Two,” “Twigs,” “Hello Dolly,” “Special Occasions,” “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and, live from the Grand Ole Opry, “Nunsense 3: The Jamboree,” which aired on TNN.
“Mama for President: Good Lord, Why Not?” written by Lawrence and Monty Aidem, as told by Thelma “Mama” Harper, was published by Thomas Nelson on May 20, 2008. The book description reads: “Finally, a candidate who will speak her mind and put the country on the right track. From health care to homeland security, Mama has a plan, and she’s not afraid to tell you about it. She tackles the big issues and runs a campaign that has everyone running. Bitingly funny and brutally honest, Mama may just have the answer – but if not, at least readers will have a great laugh.”
Since 2002, Lawrence has spent much of her time on the road with her stage production, “Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show.” She also travels all over the country speaking to women’s organizations about her life and career, women’s health, and being a woman in a man’s world. All the while, she approaches everything with her characteristic sense of humor, reminding us all that “Life is much too serious to be taken seriously!” She works with the Humane Society and has done much work with the American Heart Association and their “Go Red for Women” campaign. When she is in town, she hosts the annual Walk for the Cure in her hometown, where all the proceeds go to breast and ovarian cancer research at Long Beach Memorial Center.
In 1974, Lawrence married the head of CBS makeup, Al Schultz, who is both her best friend and professional partner. They have two grown children, Courtney and Garrett, and live at the beach with their two dogs, Tascha and Lucas. In their spare time, they enjoy yacht racing and own a 70-foot sloop named, fittingly, “Vicki.”