Marilyn Monroe is one of the greatest icons to have ever walked on this planet. From her effortless beauty to her radiant, confident persona, Marilyn Monroe became a hero to all. Today and everyday we celebrate Marilyn Monroe’s everlasting legacy as someone who has made one of the most unforgettable impacts in the entertainment industry and in the lives of so many.
As her 92nd birthday is soon approaching, it’s time to get your tickets to pay homage to one of the most legendary figures as the Rockwell Table & Stage will be hosting its one-night only production of “With Love, Marilyn” – a beautiful show that honors the heart-warming romances and loves that Marilyn Monroe had in her life. The brilliant show will be jam-packed with several of Marilyn Monroe’s greatest hits including “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” “My Heart Belongs To Daddy,” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” amongst many others. This spectacular production will definitely blow you away and the phenomenal role of Ms. Monroe will be played by the immensely talented, veteran actress, Erin Sullivan.
Erin Sullivan is a perfect fit to portray the remarkable Marilyn Monroe. In fact, Erin Sullivan had already taken on the sensational role of Marilyn Monroe in a play created by Tony award-winning playwright Mark Medoff titled, Marilee and Baby Lamb: The Assassination of an American Goddess. The stage is Erin Sullivan’s second home as she has showcased her incredible and unrivaled talent in other highly-acclaimed projects including Hairspray, Grease, The Wedding Singer and many others. Not only is Erin Sullivan a great talent when it comes to performing, but she’s also a stellar author and she even released her own book titled, Theatrical Baggage – A Manual, a Workbook, and a Bible on How to Survive a National Tour and Other Gigs.
If you’re a big Marilyn Monroe fan, this show is calling your name! The Rockwell Table & Stage never fails to bring out some of the most extraordinary shows and you are bound to be left in awe with this one night only experience celebrating one of Hollywood’s greatest shining stars.
I, Alexisjoyvipaccess had an excellent time interviewing the multi-talented Erin Sullivan all about what it is like for her transforming into the role of Marilyn Monroe, what is something that she learned about the phenomenon that really stuck with her and so much more. Erin Sullivan even revealed what she is looking forward to the most for fans to see in the “With Love, Marilyn” show – read what she had to say in our exclusive Q&A below.
Be sure to get your tickets now for “With Love, Marilyn” showing at the Rockwell Table & Stage on June 4th at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $40 for premium seating, $30 for regular seating and $20 for partial viewing seating. Tickets can be purchased here.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: We’re super excited to see you portray the iconic role of Marilyn Monroe in the Rockwell’s “With Love, Marilyn” show. Can you tell us what it is like for you bringing this legendary figure to life and taking on this role?
Erin Sullivan: I am so thrilled to be making my West Coast debut at Rockwell! Bringing my Marilyn to the City Of Angels, where it all began for her, is beyond exciting and a bit nerve wracking. The way I portray Marilyn isn’t so much bringing her back to life, but is more of focusing and embodying the characteristics that made this woman so iconic. I’m not an impersonator, I’m an actor. I really focus on her qualities and then do my best to emulate them in my own ‘Marilyn’ way. My producers have even coined me the nickname “Erilyn”. No one will ever be her. I merely try to do her justice! Sometimes the thought dawns on me that I might be a bit crazy to take on such a legend! I think, ‘How did I truly stumble into this!’ I love telling her story. I love paying homage to a woman who was so talented, so complex, yet so simple, and was taken way to soon.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Can you tell us a little bit more about what this show is about?
Erin Sullivan: “With Love, Marilyn” is a show within a show. I had done years of previous research about her life, from a previous production (Marilee & Baby Lamb) in which I portrayed her. That’s where I discovered that she had only performed live twice in her entire career, and truly enjoyed it. My dear friend, Samantha McLaughlin, co-founder of the All About Marilyn Organization right here in LA, once told me that Marilyn was in talks and always bounced around the idea of doing a show in Vegas. That stuck with me, and I knew my concept. It would be a final dress rehearsal of a show we never got to see her do. I wanted to play on the person versus the persona she had created; having the audience watch as if they are not in the room, allows me to go back and forth between who she was and what she had become. “With Love, Marilyn” is a love letter to all the people in her life, who made an impact on her, good and bad, and it’s woven with song dedications that she sang throughout her career.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Can you tell us how you transform into Marilyn?
Erin Sullivan: Transform truly is the word! I had a very gifted team who designed my look. My make-up design by Jennifer Bishop, takes me about an hour to do. Those eyebrows are no joke! Jen trained me on how to shape my face, and really helped me to craft the make-up techniques that made her features pop. I’ve been told that I have a similar nose so that helped! My wig was designed by Tera Willis, the Head of Makeup and Hair at the MET in New York City. The wig is probably the most important part of being Marilyn and it should be done right. Tera was the best woman for the job. Little bit of trivia: it’s actually made from human hair from Sweden. So, Tera custom designed my wig to fit my head and frame my face into the style of Marilyn Monroe. The minute I put my wig on is when I feel “ahhh, there she is!”
Alexisjoyvipaccess: Throughout this process of rehearsing and leading up to the big show, is there something that you learnt about Marilyn Monroe that really stuck out to you?
Erin Sullivan: With all the research and learning, what sticks with me and really drives me is that this woman really had a sadness to her. She wasn’t the image we saw on screen. She fought so hard in an industry driven by men. She played a game, despite the fact that she was so smart. I have so much respect for her as a business woman and her passion for the craft. She wanted to be more than just a sex symbol, while she embraced it, but in the end, what she had to do to get ahead played in her untimely death. I like to tell her truth with a dash of fun and sexiness.
Alexisjoyvipaccess: What are you looking forward to the most for everyone to see in “With Love, Marilyn?”
Erin Sullivan: I just want the audience to have a magical night of entertainment, but mostly to have fun. It’s a night of theater. I am so proud of this piece and I want the audience to really follow the journey with me and feel all the emotions I’m feeling. I also like to educate. Sure there are the stories that the general public knows, but we worked very hard, and with Samantha McLaughlin’s help, we have woven in some gems that unless you are a die-hard Marilyn guru you wouldn’t have known. I want everyone to walk away singing a tune, but having a new appreciation for a woman who changed cinematic history. And I might add, looked stunning doing it!