‘Prince and the Showgirl’ in Hastings

   
Photo by Milton Greene

The Prince and the Showgirl will be screened next Sunday, September 2, at the Electric Palace Cinema in Hastings, East Sussex, at 8pm.

“Marilyn Monroe’s only British-made film scores highly for curiosity value. There’s something rather outrageous about this iconic American star playing a second-rate hoofer living in a theatrical boarding house in Brixton. Monroe herself is touching as Elsie Marina, plucked from the chorus to entertain the Regent of Carpathia for the evening and ultimately smoothing his rough edges. The story of the making of the film is the basis for the 2011 film My Week with Marilyn.”

London’s Love Affair With Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair‘ is a new display detailing Marilyn’s connections to England, including her iconic photo session with Cecil Beaton and the 1957 film, The Prince and the Showgirl.

The display will open at London’s National Portrait Gallery on September 29, through to March 1st 2013. Admission is free.

A book of postcards accompanying the display is now available to order from the NPG website (not available in US.) And on October 4th, biographer Michelle Morgan will give a 45-minute lecture on Marilyn’s time in England, starting at 1.15 pm.

“Included are Antony Beauchamp’s poses of Monroe taken in 1951 wearing a yellow bikini and Baron’s portraits of Monroe bathed in Californian sunlight taken in 1954. Cecil Beaton’s 1956 photographs taken in his Ambassador Hotel suite in New York include Monroe’s favourite image of herself, clutching a rose. Cinematographer and cameraman Jack Cardiff photographed Monroe during a private sitting at the time of The Prince and The Showgirl.

Life photographer Larry Burrows was one of many photographers who covered Monroe’s four month visit to Britain including the press conference for The Prince and The Showgirl at the Savoy Hotel. Other photographs show Monroe at a Royal Command film performance meeting the Queen another taken at the Comedy Theatre with Arthur Miller, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier who directed and co-starred with Monroe. Monroe is also shown with other British subjects including the British director Roy Ward Baker and the poet Edith Sitwell.

In addition the display includes a comprehensive selection of rare British magazine covers taken by André de Dienes and Milton Greene and a 1960 Sight and Sound showing Monroe as she appeared inLet’s Make Love, in which she appeared with British singer Frankie Vaughan.

Concluding the display is a recently acquired photograph of British Pop artist Pauline Boty pictured in front of one of her paintings of Monroe; a homage to one of the most enduring icons of the twentieth century.”

’50 Years Later’ at Miami Beach

 

A selection of Marilyn’s best films are due to be screened at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (August 30), How to Marry a Millionaire (September 6), The Seven Year Itch (September 13), and Some Like it Hot (September 20), reports Florida IUSM.

This retrospective, entitled ‘Marilyn: 50 Years Later,’ is accompanied by an exhibition of vintage memorabilia from the MBC archive, including posters, programs and other promotional items; a complete portfolio of ten European portraits by Andy Warhol; and various items on loan from the World Erotic Art Museum.

Lankershim’s Monroe Theatre

Westside Today reports on the opening of the Monroe Forum Theatre, a second stage at the El Portal movie theatre, which is located directly behind Lankershim Elementary School, once attended by Norma Jeane.

The inaugural performance was Sunny Thompson’s one-woman show, Marilyn: Forever Blonde, on the 50th anniversary of MM’s death.

“A little known fact is that the former Norma Jeane Baker, soon to become Marilyn Monroe, attended 6th grade from 1937-1938 at Lankershim Elementary School directly behind the then famous movie palace El Portal Theatre, where she often attended matinees with her guardian. The new Monroe Forum Theatre has been outfitted with a lipstick red love seat and collector’s item of seldom-seen black and white photos of Ms. Monroe. A lovely ribbon cutting ceremony took place attended by many celebrities and a few former friends of Marilyn.

After that was an amazing one woman show performance of Marilyn: Forever Blonde starring Sunny Thompson. Guests included Don Murray (Oscar-nominated for his role in Bus Stop opposite Marilyn Monroe), Stanley Rubin- Producer of River Of No Return, Renee Taylor- friend of Marilyn’s who took acting classes with her, legendary stage and film actor Theodore Bikel, Councilman Tom La Bonge, and Joe Razo- Principal of Lankershim Elementary School which is still there!”

‘White Rose’ and Other Stories

Black Dahlia & White Rose, a new short story collection by Joyce Carol Oates, will be published next month. The title story imagines an encounter between Elizabeth Short – the young woman murdered in Los Angeles in 1947, and known as The Black Dahlia – and a young Marilyn. It first appeared in a 2011 e-anthology, LA Noire, and you can read the story here. (My review is here.)

Oates, author of the Marilyn-inspired novel, Blonde, spoke to the New York Times about her latest publication.

“The title story in your new collection, Black Dahlia & White Rose, was first published in conjunction with a bloody video game, L.A. Noire, which was noted for its narrative sophistication. Did you get a chance to play it?

No, but it sounds very imaginative and interesting, like you’re in a waking dream. I just don’t have the apparatus to see it. But we were all — the creators of the video game and I — inspired by the idea of Los Angeles in a certain period of time.

The ‘Black Dahlia’ here refers to Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actress who was gruesomely murdered in Los Angeles in 1947.

Yes, and if you’re interested in hard-boiled mystery, the Black Dahlia is like the Virgin Mary.

She was mutilated, her body cut in half. In your story, you assume her voice from beyond the grave.

Well, I’m very interested in voices. I also had my novel Blonde about Norma Jeane Baker, who becomes Marilyn Monroe, narrated by the posthumous Norma Jeane Baker.

Marilyn is also in this story; you imagine her as the Black Dahlia’s roommate. There have already been eight new books about Monroe just this year. Why do you think she endures?

After having had a high-profile but not necessarily successful career and then a disastrous ending, she became what we might call ‘iconic’, a sort of awkward word that means that people relate to the icon without any historical sense or intellectual comprehension of what it means.”