This weekend we had front row seats to Marilyn-Forever Blonde at our local dinner theater. The show was great and everybody else talked about how wonderful the acting was, but I was overwhelmed by the costuming. The show started with the actress naked under a satin sheet and went on to a chenille bathrobe and included at least five costume changes, all done behind a translucent folding screen on stage. My husband said she was wearing a body stocking, but believe me, there’s no way that was possible.
Okay enough gawping over logistics. The costumes were magnificent and combined traditional designing techniques with modern fabrics to make the show possible. The first dress was a form-fitting red velvet evening gown that nipped in everywhere and flowed out from the knees. It was so tight that it was only made possible by the combination of eight vertical seams and stretch velvet and so well sewn that I could only see the seams because the actress was standing less than six feet from me. The beaded dress Marilyn wore when she sang Happy Birthday to John Kennedy was the same pattern as the red dress and made from a stretch lace with pastilles manufactured into the fabric.
The other garments included Marilyn’s little black pedal pushers with a black bandeau or white shirt, and a pink sheath with matching bolero encrusted with large silver-colored gemstones. Every costume brought back memories of Marilyn on the news or in the movies. What a magnificent collection!
Edited 9/8/2008 10:45 am ET by Tatsy
Sounds like a wonderful night out. She has become a real Icon. Cathy
Wow, a hot show. The clothes sound gorgeous.
Thanks for sharing--as a former costumer for a local theater guild, I'm always interested in costume talk. Sounds like the designer really did his/her homework and got things just right. My daughter has played Marilyn Monroe in a couple of stage productions, which is kinda funny since in person, Susan really looks nothing like her. But put on the wig and the right dress and it's pretty eerie. She has the mannerisms down perfectly.
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