On Wednesday, November 30, 2011, I was taken into the mind of Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean in "Siren's Heart...Marilyn in Purgatory," written by Walt Steep, directed by Lissa Moria, and starring the incredibly talented Louisa Bradshaw. "Siren's Heart...Marilyn in Purgatory," takes the audience far into the depths of purgatory, the unknown waiting area of death, as we see Marilyn/Norma Jean might have been today if she were to look back on her all too brief life, especially in regards to the industry and public's push of her into a sex symbol and goddess, and how that affected her.
This very well written and directed show, with music, raised some great questions and points of how Marilyn/Nora Jean might have felt living her super stardom life. "Siren's Heart...Marilyn in Purgatory" really displayed the price some artists pay for iving in the height of fame some of them do.
Bringing the show to life was the star herself, Louisa Bradshaw. With the voice of an angel and acting skills to match, Louisa embodied Marilyn/Norma Jean. From her voice to her movements, I felt as if Louisa brought Marilyn/Norma Jean back to life. Helping the story along were some wonderful songs based upon poems by W.B. Yates, others written by Louisa and Walt, and all orchestrated by Musical Director Gregory Nissen.
When Louisa sang, the audience was captivated even more, as was indicated by the big cheers and applause after each song. My two favorite songs in the show were "The Mask" and "If You Could See Me as I Am," which I thought really captured the show's essence as well as Marilyn/Norma Jean's vulnerablity. I also really enjoyed "The Shiksa Strip" song where Marilyn/Norma Jean sings about wanting a Jewish man. The lyrics were hysterical and it added that much more laughter.
Like many of today's celebrities that society has propelled into an unattainable status of stardom, "Siren's Heart...Marilyn in Purgatory," takes us back to one of the first celebrities who were shot to such heights. It certainly made me wonder "What makes some celebrities go down a darker road than others?" To find out what possibly took Marilyn/Norma Jean down this road, I highly suggest going to see "Siren's Heart...Marilyn in Purgatory" at Theater for the New City in NYC's East Village (155 First Avenue, between 9th & 10th Street). After a sold-out run this past October, "Siren's Heart...Marilyn in Purgatory" now runs until December 11. Click here for tickets!