"Breaking the Lease"
Season 1, Episode 18
#18 in Series
Breaking the Lease
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: February 11, 1952
Written by: Bob Carroll Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Jess Oppenheimer]]
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Production code: 1-18 / 018
Episode guide
IMDB Breaking the Lease
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Lucy Writes a Play The Ballet

Breaking the Lease is the eighteenth episode of the first season of [[I Love Lucy]], also the 18th overall episode of the series. The episode first aired on CBS-TV on February 11, 1952 and was directed by Marc Daniels.


Everyone is having fun at a mirth-filled "at home" evening with the Ricardos and Mertzes. But when the Ricardos continue singing after Fred and Ethel go back downstairs to their apartment, the Mertzes, as landlords, decide that the Ricardos' merrymaking has gone too far.


Lucy finds out Ricky needs both a ballet dancer and a burlesque comic for his new act. She first tries her hand at ballet, and while she shows clear talent in learning the ballet routine, she gets too tired and sore from getting her leg stuck in the barre and being forced by dance instructor Madame LeMond to plie 500 times. So, she decides to hire a burlesque comic to teach her the other routine. The comic teaches her the routine "Slowly I Turn," and Lucy is battered with getting hit by a fake "rock," soaked with water from a seltzer bottle, and pied in the face whenever she says the name of the comic's ex-lover, Martha. Right after being pied, Ethel calls and tells Lucy that Ricky just hired a burlesque comic, so Lucy's torment was all for naught.

The night of the show, Ethel calls Lucy again. She tells Lucy that one of the performers is sick and can't make it. "You know the routine, right?" Ethel asks. Lucy thinks Ethel means "Slowly I Turn," when, in reality, Ethel is talking about the ballet routine. Lucy rushes down to the club in her burlesque costume and can't believe her eyes when she sees the ballet dancers from Madame LeMond's studio. Not to be denied her time in the spotlight, Lucy starts performing the ballet routine, until she realizes that the song Ricky is singing in the background is the ever appropriate song "Martha." She beats the dancers and squirts them with seltzer water, until the two male dancers carry her out at the end of the song. But Lucy managed to pick up her pie on the way out, and she hits Ricky squarely in the face the final time he sings "Martha." When Lucy goes home, Ricky gets even by dousing her with a bucket of water he hid above the front door..


Guest StarringEdit

  • Bennett Green as Bum
  • Barbara Pepper as Jam Session Guest
  • Hazel Pierce as Party Guest