Denise Truscello Ruby Lewis captivates as Marilyn Monroe in “Marilyn! The New Musical” at Paris Las Vegas.
Monday, June 4, 2018|2 a.m.
Marilyn Monroe is a certainly fantastic choice as the foundation for a Las Vegas production program, one of Hollywood’s most classic figures and still the really meaning of a sex object. But exactly what sort of Vegas show would you develop around an icon?
Transplanted manufacturer Tegan Summer season, in collaboration with Caesars Entertainment and Authentic Brands Group representing the estate of Marilyn Monroe, has selected a big Broadway-style musical crammed with original tunes and detailed biographical storytelling, now playing at the Paris Theater. If that sounds a bit dense, it deserves noting that the grand opening efficiency on June 1 was a rapid-fire affair, bouncing from tune to song with roller-coaster momentum and a remarkable amount of feeling from a talented cast anchored by Ruby Lewis as Marilyn.
The Paris Theater is an appropriately glamorous venue for this original production, written and directed by Summer season with additional musical contributions from orchestrator Gregory Nabors. The show’s onstage guide is Charlie, Marilyn’s relied on driver and confidant, played with energy and love by Frank Lawson. He narrates as we watch innocent, distressed Norma Jeane Mortensen (Brittney Bertier) discover her way to Hollywood to end up being a star who deals with love and loss and chemical reliance while defending expert respect.
A rare stabilizing force in Marilyn’s life– and a necessary efficiency in the program– is ex-boyfriend Bill, played with strength and vulnerability by Chris Fore. As Marilyn develops and wrangles with her devils, she’s continuously considering Expense, whose kindness works as a canvas for Marilyn’s irregular, precarious life. A tender moment shows up when Lewis and Fore sing “Somebody else Ago,” one of many big, psychological songs in the program; “Do not Wan na Be Me” discovers Marilyn and Norma Jeane singing with and versus each other, and Lewis shows her powerful, expressive voice in “The Time of My Life (I Should Have More).”
The story informed in “Marilyn!” is remarkable however the cast makes it engaging. Travis Cloer returns to the phase where he played Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” to portray among Marilyn’s numerous allies and agitators, professional photographer and producer Milton Greene. Randal Keith takes all his scenes as studio primary Darryl Zanuck. You want to see and hear more when these and other characters slip into the spotlight, however the runaway train of Marilyn’s presence creates a manic rate throughout the production.
When Lewis sings that infamous rendition of “Happy Birthday” for JFK, the unpredictability is tangible. Contrasting enjoyment comes early when Lewis performs her very first number, Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” sung by Marilyn in 1960’s “Let’s Have sex.” That minute is one example of this show at its best, when Lewis is being showcased and Marilyn is being commemorated.
This is only the beginning. It will be interesting to see how “Marilyn!” evolves with time, however the Vegas home entertainment community is currently grateful to have an original piece of musical theater on the Strip phase. “Marilyn! The New Musical” is performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at the Paris Theater (3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-777-2782) and more info can be discovered at caesars.com.