Monday, August 26, 2019

Kelly Mullis / Marilyn/ at The Whitefire

Marilyn Monroe, 
American icon, died 
August 4, 1962
in Brentwood, California.

In her one woman show, "Marilyn Monroe: The Last Interview," Directed by Wayne Orkline, Kelly Mullis walks a narrow pathway, imbibing champagne and as the show evolves...  harder alcohol while flirting with an interviewer, Richard Merryman (woodenly voiced by Robert DiTillio), to recount a version of the life, the legend... of a woman who was so desperate to be loved that she sometimes peddled it and sometimes gave it away, in reality, all the while the woman child whom America and the world came to adore.

The Last Interview has bubbles of silliness and moments of tragedy, especially for anyone who remembers the story of the Lost Actress and her rocky career.   Mullis, touching briefly on Marilyn's early days,  meanders through the biographical points of interest mostly on one note. One of the  problems is that the brief references to the celebrities and others in Marilyn's life, voiced by actors apparently pre-recorded, are very brief.  Projections used are almost intrusive. 

There is more effort in Ms Mullis's seventy five minute monologue than really necessary. Had she taken another route to the character possibly by even transforming from the actress she is to functionally become the star, that might have made the anecdotes and de-evolution of Monroe's state of mind... which may or may not have led to what was pronounced a suicide in early August, 1962, more interesting.

Mullis's visual presentation is credible. She does not present a fawning stereotypical look-a-like  / Marilyn impersonator.  There are moments when the actress selects a pose or a story that reminds us of the fragile beauty and genuine simplicity of the star.  One brief projection, Marilyn's famous nude shot on a brilliant red drape, is shocking and welcome.

Depending on how steeped in the lore of Marilyn's last day on earth one might be, we know that the star was found dead of an apparent overdose in her locked bedroom, nude, with an empty bottle of barbiturates nearby.  In The Last Interview, the drama continues to unfold with Marilyn rising for a final confrontation with the audience; to declare that she was, in fact, not a suicide and lists the reasons why.  A beautifully revealing final tableau closes the show with Marilyn, nude, slowly glides up stage  to 'a better place' ... and bids us adieu.

What really happend to our Marilyn may always remain a mystery.  Mullis shows us why Marilyn had every reason to live and therein lies the tale. 

Marilyn Monroe: The Last Interview
Written and performed by Kelly Mullis
13500 Ventura Blvd, 
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Final Performance 
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Tickets and Information
818 990 2324  

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