Marilyn Review

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Star Ruby Lewis + cast sparkle in ‘Marilyn! The New Musical’ at Paris Las Vegas

“Marilyn! The New Musical,” an original, brand new musical by creator, director and producer Tegan Summer about Hollywood sex symbol and icon Marilyn Monroe, celebrated its grand opening at Paris Theater at Paris Las Vegas on Friday, June 1 — what would’ve been the blonde-bombshell actress’s 92nd birthday.

No Business Like Show Business

“Marilyn!” features a sparkling turn by singer and actress Ruby Lewis (“Baz — Star Crossed Love” at Mandalay Bay and The Palazzo Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour” on Broadway) as Monroe. Lewis acts and looks the part of Monroe and hits a home run as a singer, soaring with Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” (from 1960’s “Let’s Make Love”); “Happy Birthday” (to President John F. Kennedy); and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” along with many originals.

“Marilyn!” includes Monroe’s tumultuous marriages to her three husbands — Van Nuys, Calif., High School classmate James Dougherty (m. 1942–1946), baseball legend Joe DiMaggio (m. 1954–1955) and “Death of a Salesman” playwright Arthur Miller (m. 1956–1961), but it’s her relationship to ex-boyfriend Bill Pursel throughout the musical that provides Monroe long-lasting strength, vulnerability and sadness.  

No Business Like Show Business

“Marilyn!” features a sparkling turn by singer and actress Ruby Lewis (“Baz — Star Crossed Love” at Mandalay Bay and The Palazzo Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour” on Broadway) as Monroe. Lewis acts and looks the part of Monroe and hits a home run as a singer, soaring with Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” (from 1960’s “Let’s Make Love”); “Happy Birthday” (to President John F. Kennedy); and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” along with many originals.

“Marilyn!” includes Monroe’s tumultuous marriages to her three husbands — Van Nuys, Calif., High School classmate James Dougherty (m. 1942–1946), baseball legend Joe DiMaggio (m. 1954–1955) and “Death of a Salesman” playwright Arthur Miller (m. 1956–1961), but it’s her relationship to ex-boyfriend Bill Pursel throughout the musical that provides Monroe long-lasting strength, vulnerability and sadness.  

A Girl's Best Friends

“Marilyn’s” cast is exemplary. Alongside the captivating Lewis, there’s the high-energy Frank Lawson as Charlie, Monroe’s trusted driver; Brittney Bertier as the young and innocent Norma Jeanne Mortensen, who later changed her name to Marilyn Monroe; Chris Fiore as the vulnerable Pursel; “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” veterans Randal Keith as Darryl F. Zanuck and Lindsay Roginski as Jane Russell; and Travis Cloer as Milton Greene (the talented Cloer previously headlined Paris Theater as Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys”).

Original songs include “Someone Else Ago,” a duet by Lewis and Fore; “Don’t Wanna Be Me,” a duet by Lewis and Bertier representing the adult Monroe and young Mortensen, respectively; and Lewis’ stunning solo “The Time of My Life (I Deserve More).”

Summer, who collaborated on “Marilyn!” with Caesars Entertainment and Authentic Brands Group representing Monroe’s estate, also has plans for two musicals involving pinup legend Bettie Page and EDM superstar Steve Aoki. After the grand opening show, guests attended an outdoor patio after-party at nearby Chateau Nightclub sponsored by Epuri, a new energy drink that made its U.S. debut at the celebration.

“Marilyn! The New Musical,” with musical contributions from orchestrator Gregory Nabors, is performed at 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays at Paris Theater, 3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 777-2782.

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