Author Amanda Konkle will be signing copies of her new book, Some Kind of Mirror: Creating Marilyn Monroe, at E. Shaver Booksellers in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday, May 18, from 1 – 3 pm EDT. Amanda, who is an assistant professor of film studies and English at Georgia Southern University, has written a dynamic study of how Marilyn’s screen performances both reflected and pushed the boundaries of attitudes towards women and sex in 1950s America. (I’m currently working on a review of Some Kind of Mirror, and I thoroughly recommend it!)
Actress Misty Rowe – who played Marilyn in the splashy 1976 biopic, Goodbye, Norma Jean, and its 1989 sequel, Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn – is still treading the boards today, with a longstanding role in Always … Patsy Cline, as Christopher Berinato reports for Do Savannah.
“Imagine if you got to meet your music idol and in one magical evening, become lifelong friends with them. That is exactly what happened to Louise Seger, a divorced housewife with two children, when she befriended the legendary Patsy Cline at a concert in Houston in 1961.
‘I tell this story on stage and, as I tell it, the night they met comes alive,’ says Misty Rowe, who plays Seger. ‘It’s funny, it’s poignant, and it has some of the best singing you’ve ever heard.’
Rowe has been performing in Always … Patsy Cline for about 20 years, but she might be best known for the 19 years she spent on television’s Hee Haw as a Hee Haw Honey.
Rowe’s blonde-bombshell looks, cheerful persona and smart comic timing led to regular roles on many other television shows. She was Wendy the carhop on Happy Days, including the episode that marked Ron Howard’s directorial debut. Rowe also played Maid Marian on When Things Were Rotten, a Robin Hood spoof where she worked alongside comic greats like Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar and Dudley Moore. She made appearances on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Air Wolf (her personal favorite TV role).
Rowe even has the distinction of being the first actress to play Marilyn Monroe on film in Goodbye, Norma Jean. ‘Not a great film, but I was the first,’ jokes Rowe.
Rowe now lives on Callawassie Island, S.C., and is friends with the folks at Savannah Theatre. Rowe has worked with 11 different Patsys, so when she was asked to put on Always … Patsy Cline at the Savannah Theatre, she had a deep bench to choose from.”
Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon is an exhibition of art and photographs chronicling her life and legacy, opening at the Jepson Center in Savannah, Georgia on April 4 (tomorrow), through to July 27.
Associated events include an opening lecture and reception, tonight at 6 pm; and screenings of Some Like it Hot (April 17) and The Misfits (May 15.)
Michael Mahaffey is an artist based in Savannah, Georgia. ‘Curious Tales and Terrible Creatures’, his solo exhibit at Gallery Expresso, includes works inspired by Marilyn and is on display through to January 6.
The concept of an updated, ‘gangsta’ Marilyn has become a popular trope in recent years, as has ‘zombie’ Marilyn. What interests me about Mahaffey’s work is that he takes these hackneyed ideas and creates something fresh and original.
‘Marilyn MonROGUE’ shows Marilyn not as gangster but revolutionary, while ‘Endurance’ suggests (to me) the beauty of Monroe’s face (her own work of art) in perpetual conflict with the fact of her mortality.
“I used to be much more interested with just creating pretty pictures, and now I work hard to blend beauty and content,” Mahaffey tells Savannah Now. “I like to pull people in with a striking image and then hope they’ll stick around to consider the visual story happening on the canvas.”