MARILYN & SINATRA
by Sandro Monetti
1 Star *
Jermyn Street Theatre to 21August
16b Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6ST
Mon-Sat 8pm Mat Thu, Sat & Sun 4pm.
Runs 50 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 287 2875.
Review: William Russell 15 August.
Even Burke and Hare would balk at this.
Sandro Monetti, an entertainment analyst and writer of celebrity themed plays, discovered, oddly unknown to all those countless biographers of Marilyn Monroe, that when she died she had a stack of Sinatra albums playing on her record player. He then spent a year meeting “some wonderful people” who knew the pair and realised they had been in love. The result is described as a play with song set between 1954 and 1962. Grave robbery is more like it.
Erin Gavin, who does a cabaret turn as Monroe, plays her as if she was like Sugar from Some Like It Hot in real life, which is far from the truth. Her film roles give the lie to that. Jeff Bratz, an America’s Got Talent finalist, smiles a lot and warbles a few Sinatra classics. He seems a nice guy, should do well on the Cruise circuit, but Old Blue eyes he is not.
Ms Gavin pops pills, wears a splendid gold sequined dress and a clinging red number which keeps threatening to fall off to reveal more than Marilyn ever did on screen – those rocks are not square shaped, more like threatening an avalanche. She pouts, breathes a couple of Monroe numbers, and does a good cabaret impersonation – drag artists will be wild with jealousy.
But Monetti has given her nothing to use, provided no insight into the troubled world on a great star.
That the pair may have had an affair is neither here nor there. It is possible there is a decent play or film to be made about Monroe. Sinatra’s friends in low places might make one about him tricky and lead to a glut of horse’s heads. This vanity trip directed by the author is neither.
Marilyn Monroe: Erin Gavin,
Frank Sinatra: Jeff Bratz.
Director: Sandro Monetti