A Portrayal of a Lifetime


by Victoria Erickson

“I don’t remember the first time I saw Marilyn Monroe, just as I don’t remember meeting my parents or grandparents. She was simply a part of my world from birth. Marilyn’s glamorous photographs were around every corner and her movies were filled with singing and dancing,” says actress Sunny Thompson, the star of award winning show “Marilyn: Forever Blonde, The Marilyn Monroe Story In Her Own Words And Music” coming to the Lincoln Center October 8-10.

The one-woman play, which is making its Colorado premier, takes you on an intimate journey into mind and heart of Marilyn Monroe based on her own memoirs and quotes.

The deeply moving, funny and endearing look inside the life of Monroe takes place in 1962, when Monroe is 36 years old. After having lost a little of the girlish charm that made her Hollywood’s biggest star in the 20th Century Fox prime of her early twenties, Monroe is now divorced for a third time and living alone. Frustrated by Hollywood and tired of the label “sex symbol,” Monroe longs to be respected for her talent and loved for who she really is rather than the character she has created for the silver screen.

After reading the play and falling in love with the story, Thompson wondered if she would be able to take on such an all-consuming project. Her fears would be put to rest after the 2007 premier at the Stella Adler Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Thompson won the prestigious “Lee Hartgrave Fame Award” for Best Acting for her pitch perfect portrayal of the Hollywood icon.

“I have been enchanted, captivated, heartbroken and ultimately compelled to tell a truthful and loving story about a very complex woman who was not a victim, but in fact, a career woman in search of love and acceptance, both professionally and personally…something we all crave,” says Thompson.

The rave reviews Thompson has received are seemingly endless. Her desire to tell the Monroe story in a truthful and exacting way has earned her a DayTony Award for “Excellence in a Performance” and the play itself was voted “Best Touring Production” by the Connecticut Critics Circle. “Marilyn: Forever Blonde” has gone on to play to rave revues throughout the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and most recently London’s West End.

“I have deep admiration and respect for Marilyn’s talent, her warm-witted charm and empathize with her insecurities and need for reassurance,” says Thompson. “Perhaps it is the kindness and compassion behind her eyes that make her so unforgettably beautiful. She was a powerful and thoughtful person, far ahead of her time. It is my privilege to speak her words and to sing her songs.”

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