Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Marilyn: An American Fable

The Smash producers are gauging interest for a full production of Bombshell. The Marilyn Monroe bio-musical has no book but some terrific power ballads. This has encouraged the theater blogs to re-examine past Marilyn Monroe musicals including the campy Marilyn: An American Fable.

Frank Rich, New York Times: "If you read all the fine print in the Playbill for ''Marilyn: An American Fable,'' you'll discover that the new musical at the Minskoff has 16 producers and 10 songwriters. If you mistakenly look up from the Playbill to watch the show itself, you may wonder whether those 26 persons were ever in the same rehearsal room - or even the same city - at the same time."

Ken Mandelbaum, Not Since Carrie: "More than ten numbers and forty-five minutes were dropped before opening night... The show seemed to be the work of eight-year-olds assigned to write a musical about Monroe, so dumb it was almost inspired."

Clips from the original production reveal some terrible songs, but the soaring ballad "You Are So Beyond" has been a breakout hit for earnest tenors.

Less footage remains of London's Marilyn! The Musical which opened the same year. Preliminary research suggests it was a sungthrough popera inspired by Evita. 

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