Marilyn: An American Fable
|An American Fable|
|Basis||The life of Marilyn Monroe|
Not to be confused with the West End production Marilyn starring Stephanie Lawrence, this allegedly "authorized" version (officially endorsed by acting coach Lee Strasberg's wife Anna), while also based on events in the life of screen icon Marilyn Monroe, was a highly fictionalized account, complete with a happy ending, set on a huge, vacant Hollywood soundstage.
The production underwent numerous changes throughout its development period. During rehearsals, original star Gerolyn Petchel was replaced by Alyson Reed, and after previews began, director/choreographer Kenny Ortega was replaced by Thommie Walsh and Baayork Lee, although Ortega retained credit in the program. Ten musical numbers were dropped and forty-five minutes of dialogue were excised before opening night. Among the characters retained were young Norma Jean Baker, who interacted with her adult self, and a Greek chorus-like trio called Destiny, who provided a running commentary about the sex goddess's woes.
After thirty-four previews, the Broadway production opened on November 20, 1983 at the Minskoff Theatre, where it ran for only seventeen performances. In addition to Reed, the cast included Scott Bakula (making his Broadway debut) as Joe DiMaggio, Will Gerard as Arthur Miller, and Kristi Coombs as young Norma Jean.
Reed was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
Awards and nominations
1984 Drama Desk Award nomination
- Outstanding Actress in a Musical - Alyson Reed