Marilyn! The New Musical is set to close on June 17 (after just twenty-three performances), Scott Roeben reports for Vital Vegas. While a press release states that the show is merely ‘on hiatus’, Roeben predicts it won’t be coming back.
“From what we hear, the implosion of Marilyn! The New Musical had little to do with the talent of its cast. Even as the show opened, there were rumors of behind-the-scenes drama, including a lack of competent direction and serious financial issues, and entertainment insiders predicted the show would have a very short run.”
“Sources also report that producer Tegan Summer, founder of Prospect House Entertainment, is seeking a new investor in the project. Those reports are in line with a production that has abruptly lost its primary funding and is forced to go dark while looking for more money.
Marilyn! also suffered myriad unexpected obstacles, such as the late delivery of its stage set — reportedly producers used a company not experienced in furnishing sets to Strip production shows. Thus, the show’s scenery, crucial to any production’s aesthetics, was not completed until the week after its premiere.
But commonly, if a production show holds its financial investment, it can ride out such early production snags. It can also weather a poor reception.
Lewis, who devoted up to four hours a day working with Summer on mastering the title role, said today, ‘I’m pretty bummed out. It’s back to the drawing board, I’m afraid.’ Lewis, who left Baz at Palazzo Theater to join the production, is working on a new album.”
“The grand opening performance on June 1 was a rapid-fire affair, bouncing from song to song with roller-coaster momentum and an extraordinary amount of emotion from a gifted cast anchored by Ruby Lewis as Marilyn.
This is only the beginning. It will be exciting to see how Marilyn! evolves over time, but the Vegas entertainment community is already grateful to have an original piece of musical theater on the Strip stage.” – Brocke Radke, Las Vegas Sun
“The numbers most pleasing to the ear are a series of duets between Marilyn (Ruby Lewis) and her younger self, Norma Jeane (Brittney Bertier). While it’s best to ignore the lyrics, the music lends itself nicely to the melding of two excellent voices.
The overwhelming strength of this production is its cast. Ruby Lewis is a fine singer and actress, and does the best she can with a book that gives her little opportunity for character development.” – Mary LaFrance, Talkin’ Broadway
“Marilyn Monroe was a troubled soul — and a divided personality, the blond bombshell forever haunted by the troubled young woman inside. So perhaps it’s fitting that Marilyn! — the new Monroe musical at Paris Las Vegas — suffers from split-personality syndrome. It wants to be a fizzy, showbizzy Vegas musical eager to wow you with sass and pizazz. Yet it never figures out how to do that while recounting the frequently sad facts of Monroe’s all-too-short life.
Lewis makes a visually convincing Monroe, although she’s less consistent vocally. Especially when she shifts from speaking to singing, replacing Monroe’s breathy purr with her own powerful belting, thereby undercutting the vulnerability that helped make Monroe so much more than the latest in a long line of foxy blondes.” – Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Marilyn! The New Musical, produced in association with ABG – the licensing wing of Marilyn’s estate – is coming to Las Vegas, NBC reports. A version of this show was first staged in Glendale, California back in 2016, but I understand there have been some personnel changes since then. As diehard fans will know, official approval is not always a guarantee of quality but let’s hope this will be an entertaining tribute.
“One of Hollywood’s most iconic stars is coming to the Las Vegas Strip in Marilyn! The New Musical, an original musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. The show will open at Paris Las Vegas with preview performances beginning May 23 and a grand opening June 1, just in time for Marilyn’s birthday. Written, directed and produced by Tegan Summer, CEO of Prospect House Entertainment, in partnership with Authentic Brands Group, owner of the Estate of Marilyn Monroe, the new musical will feature acclaimed Broadway actress Ruby Lewis as the resident Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn! The New Musical features 20 original musical numbers as well as classics like ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy,’ telling the story of one of the world’s most famous women, from her days as Norma Jeane overcoming a difficult childhood, to her meteoric rise to stardom and becoming one of the biggest and most enduring sex symbols of all time.
The Marilyn! cast includes the best talent that Broadway, Los Angeles and Las Vegas have to offer including: Brittney Bertier as Norma Jeane, Frank Lawson as Charlie, Marilyn’s trusted driver, Travis Cloer as Milton Greene, Chris Fore as Bill Pursel, Randal Keith as Darryl F. Zanuck, Christopher Showerman as Joe DiMaggio, Matthew Tyler as Arthur Miller, Lindsay Roginski as Jane Russell, Una Eggerts as Jayne Mansfield, and Chanel Edwards-Frederick as Ella Fitzgerald. Kelley Jakle will serve as the swing for Marilyn Monroe. In addition, the show anticipates a rotating cast of celebrity guest performers in the lead and supporting roles.'”