Audience: Robert DiTillio
Kelly Mullis brings Marilyn Monroe to life in an amazing performance that is all at once moving, informative and funny. From her first moment on stage, Mullis grabs the audience's attention with Marilyn's dry wit and humor. After that, it's an incredible ride through Marilyn's life showcasing her relationships, struggles, hopes and fears that never lags and is always engaging. Mullis embodies Marilyn physically, vocally and emotionally so completely that you feel as though you're watching the real Marilyn. What's even better is that Mullis presents not just the glamorous “showbiz” side of Marilyn that most are familiar with, but also the everyday, insecure person she was on the inside. Mullis deserves every bit of the standing ovation she got at the end of the performance. This is one of the best shows I have seen at Fringe, both this and in previous years. Here are specific things I liked: The set is well designed, very detailed and laid out nicely, making it visually interesting and giving the impression that we really are in Marilyn's living room where the interview is taking place. Mullis interacts with furniture and props in a very natural, realistic way as though it's her own home. The show incorporates projected images of the real Marilyn and the people she knew, which adds to the audience's understanding and familiarity with who was involved and what was happening at various times in her life. There are also audio clips of the people in her life, pre-recorded by actors recreating some famous and not so famous figures who had an influence on Marilyn. The well-done audio clips fit seamlessly into the show and are used perfectly at appropriate times. The images are a reminder of all the famous people in her circle, but the most striking thing about the photos is how much Mullis looks like Marilyn! Adding to the illusion is Mullis' vocal quality and physical behavior which is spot-on exactly like Marilyn, whether in “I'm a Star” mode or “I'm just a regular person” mode. Physically and vocally, she is perfect for the role and seems as though she was born to play it. Mullis' versatile vocal quality is also demonstrated at various points throughout the show when she takes on the personas of several people Marilyn interacted with. Each vocal “character” is presented in a unique and authentic way, so that you always know who she is supposed to be. As if that wasn't enough, the show also incorporates five musical numbers, sung a capella by Mullis, featuring some of Marilyn's most famous renditions. Mullis' melodic voice shines in these moments, as she also turns on her Marilyn “I'm a Star” physical movements. This results in the songs being showstoppers, just as they were with the real Marilyn. And then comes the acting, which is stellar. It's an emotional roller-coaster ride and Mullis is fully committed to all of it. She makes the audience laugh, cry, gasp, shake our heads, get excited, care for Marilyn, think she's a jerk at times, get mad at the people who hurt her, wish the best for her and then, finally, feel incredible empathy for her when it comes to her sad, unnecessarily tragic end. But she also reminds us that we'll never forget Marilyn. A stunning performance.
A fast paced, thoroughly entertaining Rock N' Roll musical featuring the terrific music of The Clash. If you are a fan of musicals, you will enjoy this show. If you like rock musicals in particular, you will adore this show. If you are fan of The Clash, you will love this show. You might love it even if you are none of these things! It's a super entertaining evening of theater that had me smiling and tapping my feet all the way through. There's so much good about it, I don't know if I can mention everything. The acting and singing – great. The choreography – loads of fun. The staging of the whole show – extremely creative. What they did here is take The Clash's music and create a story line around it, so that the songs tell the story. The way they integrated the songs into the story was terrific. In several instances, they manipulated the arrangement of the song so it fit the story line better, and it worked beautifully. The show is extremely well-paced. Lots of humor intersperses the action. The actor/singers are all thoroughly immersed in their characters and some play multiple roles. Special mention to the two punk rock “chorus” girls who enhanced every scene they were in even though they weren't the main characters. They gave 110% and the audience loved it. All the songs were well staged, and some of them were brilliant. I enjoyed every musical number, and some standouts for me were “Lost in the Supermarket” and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” and I have to say I never saw a more entertaining version of “Rock The Casbah.” It had me laughing my ass off. I could go on and on about this musical, but you really should just go see it. It's a fantastic rock n' roll show. I left the theater feeling very happy!