BWW Reviews: El Portal Heats Up with Marilyn Forever Blonde
Marilyn Forever Blonde/written by Greg Thompson/directed by Stephanie Shine/El Portal Theatre/closed after five SRO performances August 2-5
Jason Phillips' set of MM's boudoir draped with white curtains center stage, elevated on a platform with a simple dressing area stage right and living area stage left and background screen showing a myriad of photos of Sunny Thompson as Monroe, has an unquestionable appeal, as do costumes by Mimi Countryman and Alice Worthy. The red gown and beige dress for "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" are gorgeous. Stephanie Shine has directed beautifully, making consistent use of every inch of the space.
But, when all is said and duly noted...what makes this two hour, well documented, well directed piece ultimately work so well is Sunny Thompson. As Marilyn, she pulls us in with her physicality, her mannerisms, her beauty, her tremendous wit and her irreplaceable childlike joy. Thompson gives us all of this at 150%. She is truly phenomenal.