Indiana Ballet Features Marilyn

“‘Marilyn Monroe was labeled a certain way’ that was only partly related to the 1950s sex symbol’s true identity, Hancock said. So The Scarlet Letter is ‘about the loss of innocence,’ refracted through a Monroe split seven ways with seven dancers representing aspects of the star — ‘the sensual side of her, the naïve side of her, all the essences of Marilyn Monroe that can add to the dance.'” –

American Classics is an intriguing new ballet from Gregory Hancock, inspired by the imagery of Nathaniel Hathorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and, of course, Marilyn.

The ballet will be staged at the Pike Performing Arts Centre, Indiana, on August 13-14.

‘The Seven Year Itch’ in California

Jacque Wilke as ‘The Girl’

George Axelrod’s original play, The Seven Year Itch,  is being revived at the New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad, California (near San Diego), from today, July 29th, through August 22nd.

“‘You can tell that George Axelrod had a great respect for women,’ says Kristianne Kurner, executive artistic director at the theater. ‘The Girl (played by Jacque Wilke) doesn’t have a name, but she’s really strong. And I think the humor, instead of coming out of a derogatory thing about women, comes from the husband’s guilt. That guilt is really funny.'”

Maf the Dog at Southbank Centre

Artwork by Robin Davey

Prizewinning novelist Andrew O’Hagan’s The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe is a literary comedy full of philosophy, comedy and heartbreak.

‘The book is a miracle,’ wrote Edna O’Brien, ‘and already a classic’.

For this special event, Andrew O’Hagan leads an ensemble reading of Maf the Dog with some of Britain’s leading actors, including Ian MacDiarmid (Six Characters in Search of an Author, Star Wars) and Suzanne Bertish (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Hunger.)

Sunday 18 July 2010, 7:45pm

Southbank Centre, London

Ticket information here

Read my review of Maf the Dog, here

Marilyn Opera in Banff

Anyone Can See I Love You, a new opera about the life of Marilyn Monroe, opens at the Banff Centre, Canada, this weekend.

Eivør Pálsdóttir, a singer-songwriter from the Faroese islands, plays Monroe, and the production may tour internationally.

Composed by Gavin Bryars, the opera is based on Marilyn Bowering‘s 1987 poetry collection of the same name, which has also been adapted as a radio play for BBC Scotland.

Incidentally, Monroe herself stayed in Banff while filming River of No Return in 1953.

‘Bus Stop’ in Pitlochry

William Inge’s play, Bus Stop, was filmed with Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The original story is a little different though, set entirely in Grace’s Diner and focussing not just on Cherie and Bo, but several other travellers.

Bus Stop opens at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Perthshire, Scotland, on June 15, showing until October 14, with Amanda Gordon in Monroe’s role.

Reviewed in The Stage

Pitlochry Festival Theatre