Brighton’s very own Marilyn Monroe lookalike, Laura Nixon, will perform at the launch of So Yesterday, a vintage clothing boutique inside Kemptown Trading Post, St George’s Road, Brighton, on Friday November 12 at 6pm.
Laura Nixon sings on Youtube
“Madonna, she’s too rich,
Everybody wants to be rich,
Everybody wants to be a bitch,
And Marilyn, she’s dead.
Britney, she’s too young,
Everybody wants to be young,
Everybody wants a refund,
and Marilyn, she’s in my head.
Einstein, he’s too bright,
Everybody wants to be bright,
Everybody wants to have a fight,
And Marilyn is in my head.
Elvis is a star,
Everybody wants to be a star,
Everybody wants to shoot a star,
And Marilyn, she’s dead.”
A 1968 work by the Scottish poet Edwin Morgan, who died earlier this year.
The Death of Marilyn Monroe
What innocence? Whose guilt? What eyes? Whose breast?
Crumpled orphan, nembutal bed,
white hearse, Los Angeles,
DiMaggio! Los Angeles! Miller! Los Angeles! America!
That Death should seem the only protector –
That all arms should have faded, and the great cameras and lights
become an inquisition and a torment –
That the many acquaintances, the autograph-hunters, the
inflexible directors, the drive-in admirers should become
a blur of incomprehension and pain –
That lonely Uncertainty should limp up, grinning, with
bewildering barbiturates, and watch her undress and lie
down and in her anguish
call for him! call for him to strengthen her with what could
only dissolve her! A method
of dying, we are shaken, we see it. Strasberg!
Los Angeles! Olivier! Los Angeles! Others die
and yet by this death we are a little shaken, we feel it,
Let no one say communication is a cantword.
They had to lift her hand from the bedside telephone.
But what she had not been able to say
perhaps she had said. ‘All I had was my life.
I have no regrets, because if I made
any mistakes, I was responsible.
There is now – and there is the future.
What has happened is behind. So
it follows you around? So what?’ – This
to a friend, ten days before.
And so she was responsible.
And if she was not responsible, not wholly responsible, Los Angeles?
Los Angeles? Will it follow you around? Will the slow
white hearse of the child of America follow you around?
This bittersweet tribute to Marilyn, by Ruth Waterbury, was published in Motion Picture magazine in November 1962, just three months after Monroe’s tragic death.
“Poor, beautiful, intellectual, laughing Marilyn. She began on a note of mystery and she ended that way, too, alone as she been all her life. May heaven be good to her. She gave much to everyone who knew her, even those who only knew her through that glorious image on the screen. She was like a golden ray of sun on a darkling plain. This is the legacy she leaves to us all, this memory. It will linger long.”
You can read the article in full on Everlasting Star – with thanks to ‘hollywoodcinderella’
For your weekend reading pleasure, a very special guest post from my good friend, Edgar Freire – a talented artist and poet.
A Tribute to Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe
with Andy DiMino and Susan Griffiths
at the Westchester Broadway Theatre, Elmsford, NY
Review of August 24, 2010 show by Edgar Freire
Let me begin by saying I was quite surprised when my friend Veronica invited me to see this dinner show. I had never attended a dinner theatre production before, and I was actually surprised to know that they still existed. I had often assumed that dinner theatre was a nostalgic activity that had its hey-day in the 50s or 60s, and was no longer around. And when my friend and I were seated at our table directly in front of the stage, this assumption was proven partly correct as I scanned the audience and saw a lot of gray and silver-headed attendees. That’s when Veronica and I realized we were the youngest people in the audience!
We were presented with a menu and had an hour to dine before the show began. The food was on the average side, but the wait staff was very helpful and friendly, and I was really enjoying what was a totally new (for me) form of entertainment.
The show began with Andy DiMino taking the stage as Dean Martin. I have to admit I was not very familiar with Dean’s music before, so the material he was going to sing would be new to my ears. But I could see (by the swaying of female heads in the audience) that his music is well loved, and certainly stirred memories of the golden days of the crooners, as well as old romances. By the end of the evening, Andy’s performance gave me a greater appreciation for the music of Dean Martin.
After singing some more solo numbers, Andy/Dean summoned Susan Griffiths as Marilyn Monroe to the stage. And when Susan wiggled onto the stage in a skin-tight red cocktail dress, I have to admit I could not keep my eyes off her! Susan had Marilyn’s mannerisms and breathy voice down perfect, and there was obvious and genuine chemistry between her and Andy.
The show proceeded with the two stars singing together, then Andy left as Susan took over the spotlight, and the show continued with variations of this solo and duet arrangement. For me particularly, it was great to hear songs from classic Monroe films in this live setting, which were re-recorded by Griffiths with just the slightest different arrangement that gave them a freshness. I was especially pleased to hear ‘A Fine Romance’ and ‘River of No Return’ – two lesser-known songs from the Marilyn catalog – which were superbly rendered by Susan.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the show contained a lot of comedy! Andy had great comic delivery and really served the laughs, while Susan occasionally descended the stage and mingled with the audience, picking certain people in the crowd to participate in the fun. Another highlight was the duet ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, which ended with faux snow descending onto the stage. It was a magical moment which recalled a scene from the great Hollywood musicals.
After the show, Andy and Susan were generous enough to meet in the lobby for photos and greet audience members. I had a chance to speak briefly with Susan and ask her about the origins of the show. Apparently, Andy had been doing Dean Martin in a solo Las Vegas show some years before, and after the two of them connected, the idea came to them to perform together as Dean and Marilyn. I also asked Susan if there would be future shows. According to her, they have no scheduled tour dates, but instead try to fit in shows when and where the opportunity arises. The next day they were booked to perform the same show in Staten Island, and then she was off for an engagement in Sweden.
Susan reminded me that the show is still a work-in-progress, and that eventually they would like to integrate into the show some background history of the real-life Marilyn and Dean’s working and personal relationship. As most Marilyn fans already know, Dean and Marilyn were close friends in real-life, and were starring together in the unfinished film Something’s Got to Give at the time of her death.
Parisian street art inspired by Marilyn’s role in Bus Stop, photographed by Zerbi Hancock as part of a Flickr set, ‘Marilyn Monroe’
Relive the days of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and sparkling Hollywood. All the big tunes brought to you by the UK’s finest tribute artists. Brighton’s best burlesque cocktail shaker will make an appearance along with the city’s best loved showgirls and boys.
Compered by Brighton’s own Marilyn Monroe Impersonator and Okie pookle player Laura Nixon.
‘The Sexiest woman in Brighton’ – Bare Cheek, Latest 7
‘A true blond bombshell!’ – The Argus
Come and join the party!
Dress suave, 1950’s, Trilbies, diamonds, showgirls, kats and spats or anything that makes your feel fabulous!
Thursday 19th August (Pre-book here)
Friday 17th September
Thursday 9th December
Thursday 16th December
Thursday 23rd December
14-17 Manchester St, Brighton (off St James’ St, near seafront & Palace Pier)
Speakers at this year’s service, organised by Marilyn Remembered Fan Club:
For a personal account of the service by ‘misskelleen’, join the 1962 community at LiveJournal
Photo by Scott Fortner