BWW Review: Erin Sullivan's Strong Vocals Bolster WITH LOVE, MARILYN
Erin Sullivan has created (with help from co-writer Stephanie Rosenberg and co-conceiver Robin Milling) WITH LOVE, MARILYN, her one-woman homage to Marilyn Monroe. Sullivan nails Monroe's breathy line deliveries and body language, especially in recreating Monroe songs "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and her signature "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." Director Rosenberg gives Sullivan a lot of leeway in her laidback retelling of the insecure Monroe's love life and early Hollywood years, but smartly edits Sullivan's "Happy Birthday (Mr. President)" to less than a single verse. Opening conceit of this show has Monroe going through a dress rehearsal of her Vegas nightclub act, which allows for Monroe to exhibit all her insecurities. Fortunately, for the Rockwell audience, Sullivan's sturdy vocals power through Monroe's hesitation onstage.
Sullivan receives solid musical back-up from the trio of musical director Garrett Taylor on piano, Lyman Mediros on bass, and Kevin Winard on drums. The combination of Taylor's piano virtuosity, Mediros' striking bass line and Winard's soothing brushes elevate, to the next level, "A Fine Romance" and "After You Get What You Want You Don't Want It." So nice!