Coming this Friday: Vicki Lawrence and ‘Mama’ at Edmonds Center for the Arts

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Emmy-winning comedienne Vicki Lawrence and her alter ego “Mama” bring their “two-woman” show to Edmonds Center for the Arts this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, priced at $15-$55, are available online at www.ec4arts.org or by phone at 425- 275-9595.

During her senior year of high school, Vicki Lawrence sent Carol Burnett a letter that included a local newspaper article mentioning their resemblance and 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, made arrangements to attend, and the rest is television history.

“The Carol Burnett Show” premiered in the fall of 1967 and Lawrence spent 11 years with Burnett, earning one Emmy Award and five Emmy nominations, and created the beloved character of “Mama.” After the Burnett show ended, Lawrence went on to star in her own TV series, “Mama’s Family,” featuring that crotchety character Thelma Harper.

Besides her comedic skills, Lawrence received a gold record for her 1973 hit “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”  After “Mama’s Family” ended, she went on to host her own daytime talk show “Vicki!”, which received an Emmy nomination in its first year on the air, as well as the daytime version of the game show “Win, Lose or Draw.” She has appeared in numerous stage productions, including No, No Nanette, Hello Dolly and Annie Get Your Gun, and her autobiography, Vicki! The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball, was published in 1995. Her partnership with fellow “Carol Burnett Show” alum Tim Conway as parents on CBS-TV’s “Yes Dear,” along with unprecedented ratings for the “Carol Burnett Show Stopper Special,” convinced Vicki that the time is right to take Mama out of the closet, dust off her sensible shoes and hit the road.

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