Here’s a review of Marilyn, by our associate Plymouth writer Chris Savery, from his staging of the play at Richmond Shepard Theatre, NYC, 26 July 2013
Reviewed by Rosie Kahn
This play by Chris Savery is a very insightful view of the other side of Marilyn Monroe. We all know her as the blonde bombshell, who had infamous relationships with Joe DiMaggio, JFK, and Arthur Miller but in reality she was so much more, and was way ahead of her time. The play really captured her sensitive, intellectual side, and revealed just how lonely and misunderstood she was.
I was awestruck at what a good job the play does by defining her character and bringing it to life. After watching Marilyn, I just wanted to read and view anything and everything about her that was ever published and filmed. Marilyn is really brought to life in the play and was that intriguing. You just can’t get enough of her.
The acting is so well done, you just want to cheer throughout for Marilyn, played by Katy-May Hudson. Her portrayal is so convincing in dealing with Marilyn’s many intense emotions you really want to protect her as she subliminally cries out for help from Matthew Cippaghila’s totally believable Joe DiMaggio, David Brickman’s coolly intellectual Arthur Miller and Patrick Smith’s commanding JFK, all of whom are just not capable of breaking through the emotional barriers to hear her.
You can sense the love and longing, especially in the scenes with Norma Jean, played beautifully by Vanna Pilgrim and those with Paula Strasberg, played with great control and focus by Phylis Rossi. Where the play really transcends, however, is in the scenes with Marilyn and her Make Up Artist, who is brought to life by the gifted and excellent Aaron Kaplan. Their scenes together show just how alienating the power of Hollywood and standards of beauty can be. Marilyn’s vulnerability is the essence of the play, and ultimate shiner.
You will walk away knowing, feeling, and loving Marilyn, like you never have before. At least I did!