BOTTOM LINE: Marilyn Monroe: wouldn't it be fascinating is an experimental look at fantasy vs. reality using projection, movement, and two Marilyns.
Marilyn Monroe: wouldn't it be fascinating finds us in Tokyo on the press tour honeymoon of Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio. Between interviews, the two celebrities find themselves unable to connect - Marilyn reaches for pills and Joe pursues other women, other fantasies of a woman. Marilyn and Joe realize on their honeymoon that they don't know each other, and each one can't give the other what he or she needs.
There is little dialogue in Marilyn Monroe. The play is communicated through a continual soundscape and ongoing video art projected on the back wall. For over an hour a Japanese talk show host, Marilyn Monroe, a Japanese Marilyn Monroe impersonator, and Joe Dimaggio wander the stage. The audience's attention wanders as well.
For all of its ambition, this experimental performance lacks action, coherence, or some equivalent to keep it engaging. It feels like an exercise in experimentation more than an actualized show. Frankly, it isn't fascinating.
Also, there are major research and timeline flaws. Movies and biographical events are mentioned that happened after the Dimaggio/Monroe Asian honeymoon, and the Marilyn impersonator is, in both dress and action, doing the famed Seven Year Itch Monroe though she didn't make this movie until the END of her Dimaggio marriage.
Marilyn Monroe: wouldn't it be fascinating is recommendable to people who are engrossed by process rather than product, because it is in the process and the attempt being made that you will find the meat of this show. Unfortunately, the end product is questionable.
(Marilyn Monroe: wouldn't it be fascinating plays at The New School for Drama Theatre, 151 Bank Street between West and Washington Streets, through August 26th. Remaining performances are Saturday 8/21 at 7:30pm and Thursday 8/26 at 6:30pm. For more information visit www.erikzambrano.com/upcoming.html. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, and are available at FringeNYC.com, by calling 866.468.7619, or in person at FringeCENTRAL, located at 1 East 8th Street at 5th Avenue . There is NO LATE SEATING for Fringe NYC shows.)