One Night With Marilyn
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Crazy Coqs, London
Cast: Isabella Bliss and David Alacey

A laugh out loud, immersive, comedic heartfelt tribute to Hollywood’s most iconic blond Bombshell. The show takes the audience on a journey through the life of the silver screens brightest star. What dose it mean to be a sex symbol, is she looking for a husband and what really happened with the president?

Honest, funny and captivating. One night with Marilyn is everything you want from a close up experience in an evening with the star. Sing the songs, share a drink , and experience Marilyn.

Having seen a glimpse of Isabella Bliss' Marilyn Monroe act in the touring production, An Evening of Burlesque, I was incredibly excited to see the full show of One Night With Marilyn, and how it would work as a 75 minute act. Crazy Coqs in the heart of London was the perfect setting for a celebration of the iconic Hollywood movie star. Its décor is both classy and vintage - which is everything you'd expect from a Marilyn show.

One Night With Marilyn is a one-woman show penned by the leading lady herself, Isabella Bliss. She enters the venue in Marilyn's instantly recognisable white dress, and captures the audience immediately with her opening number, "Some Like It Hot". The musical numbers are a highlight of the evening and she covers some utterly gorgeous hits with ease, such as "I Wanna Be Loved by You", "Why Don't You Do Right?" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy".

While Bliss' voice is stunning, it's the similarities to Marilyn that take the performance to the next level. Everything from the mannerisms, to the tone of  her voice, and even the iconic giggle - she has the job of impersonating one of Hollywood's greats down to a fine art.

However, what surprised me the most about the show was how utterly hilarious she is. Isabella holds the audience in the palm of her hand with ease, which makes audience participation a breeze for her - who doesn't want to be on stage with Marilyn? She's incredibly quick-witted and naturally comedic, which works in the context of the show perfectly.

As someone that knew very little about Marilyn's personal life, it was eye-opening to hear anecdotes and stories from Marilyn's life, such as receiving a fraction of the pay-check for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in comparison to Jane Russell, her scandalous Playboy centre-fold and how she became one of the first women to set up her own production company. It's clear through these anecdotes that Bliss has done her research, and her admiration for Monroe shines through.

As Bliss says herself during the show, "there's a lot of me, but some of you too" - and the audience participation throughout the show helps to make the evening feel even more intimate. From helping Marilyn choose a new husband, to an unexpecting male audience number being teased, "I'm gonna blow you from beneath", while Bliss holds a hairdryer; the whole evening is full of double entendres and just outrageously funny.

Our special guest of the evening was David Alacey as the one and only, Frank Sinatra. He sung a medley of hits such as "Fly Me to the Moon", "You Make Me Feel So Young", "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "Mack the Knife". After an outfit change to a red, glittery floor-length dress, Isabella reappears for a duet of "Can't Take That Away From Me".

The show ends with the standout performance of the evening and one of the most synonymous songs when you think of Marilyn, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend". It's only after this performance that Isabella loses her Hollywood accent and reveals she's from a council estate from Essex, which is met with rapturous applause.

This is more than just a surface level tribute evening to Hollywood's biggest sex symbol. The time and care that has been put into crafting this act shines through, and the amount of research Bliss has clearly undertaken does not go unnoticed. A celebration of one of Hollywood's greats, by one of Essex's greats!

You can keep up to date with Isabella Bliss' tour dates and events, here.

No comments