‘Marilyn in Fragments’ in New York

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Marilyn in Fragments, cabaret singer Marissa Mulder’s one-woman show (first seen in St Louis in March), is now playing selected dates at New York’s Laurie Beechman Theatre, and has won a rave review from Stephen Holden of the Times.

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“In Marilyn in Fragments, a compressed one-hour show at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Tuesday evening, the rising cabaret singer Marissa Mulder wove passages from Monroe’s diaries and 20 songs into a compelling portrait…

Ms. Mulder delivers a theatrical monologue in a stream of consciousness while her brilliant accompanist, Jon Weber, speaking only a few words, plays the role of sympathetic therapist. Their rapport is distilled in a rendition of Tom Waits’s woozy barroom song ‘The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)’ …

Ms. Mulder, wide-eyed and curly-haired, makes a bewitching and slightly scary Monroe, whose name is never mentioned in a narrative devoid of gossip and name-dropping … Her infatuation with movie stardom is reflected in a rendition of ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’…

Marilyn in Fragments does not aim to please. This downbeat psychological portrait is uncomfortable to watch because the rawness of the performance is so believable … Trent Reznor’s ‘Hurt’, the song that sums up the show’s X-ray vision, captures its barely suppressed anguish and despair…”

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