The Marilyn Monroe Show is a new musical written by Michael Dresser and directed by Michael Alvarez. Its aim appears to be that of catching glimpses of Marilyn in three different guises, the young Norma Jean (Diana Chrisman), screen icon Marilyn (Evelyn Connors) and urban disguise Zelda Zonk (Jessica Sherman). All of these characters interact on stage, together relaying her story chronologically, yet as if the actress was indeed three separate people (and personalities). Postmodern or what, eh?
A nifty little device of TMMS; it impressed me much. However for the first act it was hard to discern whether this feature was working or disabling the performances overall impact. Some nervous and tired singing at the start did not bode well, but I must admit that I was utterly gripped for the final act. The musical built up to a dramatic finale, with final, rousing hymn Wake up convincing me that coming to The Marilyn Monroe Show had been worth my time.
Marilyn Monroes life seems to have been a troubled one. When visiting 20th Century Fox one day, a sealed letter that was passed round prompted all the executives Marilyn visited to unzip their trousers. Nowdays, word of such an occurrence would ignite a controversy. I was pleased to see that Dressers creation does not treat Marilyns sexiness lightly, but was still aware of her energy and fateful magnetism. The Marilyn Monroe Show, with its intricate direction, talented performance and some catchy songs, is likely to develop into a must-see musical. On its opening night, however, it seemed a little untested.