‘The Peacock and the Nightingale’

It seems like every theatre company launches a Marilyn-related play at some point, and most of them have sunk without trace. However, David Bottomley’s The Peacock and the Nightingale has an interesting premise, at least – the meeting of Marilyn and Dame Edith Sitwell, playing at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center, San Diego, on July 3rd, as part of the city’s annual fringe festival, with British actress Claire Jared playing MM.

“1953. Eccentric English poet, Edith Sitwell, is in Hollywood working on a blockbuster movie script for George Cukor about the Tudors. When she meets film star, Marilyn Monroe she’s desperate to play Anne Boleyn. But who will let her?”

More details at Broadway World

Marilyn in the Blogosphere

May 19 marked the 49th anniversary of Marilyn’s ‘Happy Birthday’ performance for President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, as Garrison Keillor noted in his Writers’ Almanac. (Unfortunately, while he reports on the event well, he has added three spurious quotes attributed to MM via the internet. )

Given all the confusion out there, it was refreshing to find a sound, intelligent analysis of some verified Monroe quotes from Jason Cuthbert over at MadeMan.

And talking of the eternal rumour mill, Lady Gaga – who really should know better – tweeted yesterday that ‘Government Hooker’, a track from her new album, Born This Way,  “was inspired by Marilyn Monroe + political mistresses. I wonder what they were privy to + what they affected.”

An Actress Prepares, a recreation of Marilyn’s last interview by Irina Diva, is coming to the New End Theatre in Hampstead, London, playing from June 14-July 10.

The Seven Year Itch is one of Marilyn’s most enduringly popular films, yet for some reason it is rarely included in cinema revivals (Some Like it Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Misfits are all frequently shown.) So I was glad to hear of a recent outdoor screening via the San Diego Reader.

Over at Pop Matters, Oscar-watcher Matt Mazur challenges the Academy in Best Actress Rewind: 1959. Contending that Elizabeth Taylor deserved to win for Suddenly Last Summer, he also states that Marilyn should have been nominated for Some Like it Hot. (Actually, Marilyn won a Golden Globe. Simone Signoret won the Oscar that year for Room at the Top, while Marilyn was filming Let’s Make Love with her husband, Yves Montand.)



‘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.'”