Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: October 10, 1999
By: Laura Deni
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MARILYN MONROE; PEACH FUZZ
She was a screen goddess who was a victim of spousal abuse. She had a beard and stuffed her
bra so her nipples would stick out.
Those fascinating facts and many others are divulged by Gene London, the New York based
curator and Monroe historian, employed by Mikimoto Jewelers to take the Monroe collection on
a worldwide tour.
He traveled to Las Vegas with the exhibit for a three-day display at the Venetian Hotel.
"She always wore a bra to bed because she didn't want her breasts to sag. She was obsessed with
Jean Harlow. When she learned that Jean put ice on her breasts to make them stand up,
tried that, but the only thing that happened was that her breasts turned blue. So,
Marilyn took to
placing marbles in her bras or she'd take three buttons - making sure that they matched her
(nipple) size - and sew the buttons together and place those inside her dress."
GENE LONDON over his left shoulder is the outfit
from Bus Stop. Photo By: Laura Deni
"It became ironic but the day she married Joe DiMaggio she told him that if she should die first
she wanted him to put roses on her grave every week the way Clark Gable did for Harlow. That's
why DiMaggio started doing that."
"She had the heaviest peach fuzz beard of any actress in Hollywood," disclosed Londen showing a
rare pictures of the hairy chinned Monroe. "They wanted to remove the facial hair, but Marilyn
absolutely refused. She said that when the light hit the fuzz it caused her face to have a soft glow,
so they didn't have to photograph her though special lenses, lace, or Vaseline the way they did
with so many stars."
THE RED DRESS from Gentleman Prefer
Blondes Jane Russell was upset that she would wear the same outfit as Monroe and have to
stand next to the blonde actress who had a better figure. Photo By: Laura
He pointed to an outfit worn by Marilyn in Bus Stop, the 1956 picture which was her
most ethereal, heart-stopping role.
If Marilyn copied Harlow others wanted to copy her. "Everyone wanted to wear Marilyn's
costumes. Susan Hayward wore that Bus Stop outfit in I Want To Live and
Madonna donned it for her video."
"Marilyn only wore classic clothes," stressed London. "You could take any dress she ever wore
and today put it in any of the expensive shops in this mall and it would look right in style. Her
clothes were timeless. They were also well made. The hems were even weighted so that they
would hang in a way to show off her figure."
TIMELESS CREATION Photo By: Laura
"The reason she didn't wear panties is because of the way the clothes were cut. I knew Joan
Crawford very well and she never wore panties, either. None of the stars did. They couldn't. The
clothes were cut on a bias and were tight. They couldn't hide the panty line, so the women had
to be naked from the waist down."
It was a dress in which she actually wore not one pair of panties - but two - that resulted in her
being beaten black and blue. The dress was the famous white pleated number from The Seven
"When she did the famous scene in The Seven Year Itch where the dress was blowing up -
that scene was shot at midnight on the streets of New York," explained London. "Some lucky guy
with a hose had the job of making her dress go up. Marilyn was married to Joe DiMaggio who
couldn't stand the thought of Marilyn doing any sexy scenes."
"They were staying at the Waldorf Astoria and Marilyn made Joe promise that he'd stay in the
hotel room and not come watch the scene being shot. When they began to shoot the scene and her
dress billowed up, because of the lighting, you could see through Marilyn's panties and see her
ring of fire. Well, they couldn't have that."
CAUSED A BEATING Photo By: Laura
"So they got a secretary and asked to borrow her panties," continued the historian. They took off
Marilyn's panties, had Marilyn put on the secretary's panties and then her own panties that went
with the dress over those. You could still see through the fabric and see Marilyn's ring of
"The crowd was enjoying every minute of it and every time the dress blew up the crowd would
yell - Higher, higher!"
"Walter Winchell was on the set and he ran to the hotel and got DiMaggio and insisted that
DiMaggio come to the set. Four blocks away DiMaggio could hear the crowd
yelling - Higher, higher!"
"When he got there and saw the scene his jaw dropped and he turned to stone. He went back to
the hotel room and waited for Marilyn. When she came into the room she said - You should have
been there to see the crowd!"
"DiMaggio coldly replied - I was."
"And then he beat her up. She was black and blue all over. From behind closed doors people said
they could hear her screaming."
Nobody came to help.
The marriage ended.
WEDDING PEARLS Photo By: Laura
The marriage had begun with a honeymoon to Japan where Japanese cultured pearl magnate
Mikimoto gave DiMaggio a AAA grade, 44 silver-white pearl necklace to give to his bride. It was
the only expensive piece of jewelry she ever owned. She gave the necklace to her acting coach
and friend Lee Strassberg. His daughter, Susan, inherited the pearls. Mikimoto bought back the
pearls from the Strassberg estate.
"Even though Marilyn and DiMaggio divorced they stayed friends and lovers," related London.
"She said he was the best lover she ever had and she continued to get in bed with him right up
until her death."
A by invitation only preview of Marilyn's wardrobe, to be auctioned by Christie's, will take
place Oct. 25 in New York City. Christie's International chairman Lord Hindlip will host the
The auction of pack-rat Elvis Presley's castoffs looked like a cross between the fabulous ABC
Carpet and Home Store in NYC and a junkyard.
ELVIS PRESLEY the guy never threw anything
The event, which began last Friday and ended today, drew people from around the world to high
end bid on 2,000 items, apparently enabling them to perpetuate a memory built on
The auction was divided into three section. On Friday the items associated with Presley's youthful
skinny period went on the block. On Saturday the memorabilia came from his karate chop, top of
the charts era and today the glitz, gems and garbage reflect his too many bacon sandwiches and
too many pills period.
While Presley's long time road manager Joe Esposito did attend, most bidders had never met their
idol. Many were Elvis impersonators.
His 6th grade report card sold at $6,000 and his draft card had a winning bid of $22,500.
Presley's billiard balls went for $7,500, his old football helmet $10,000, power of attorney papers
A television set receipt fetched $650. Somebody coughed up $16,000 for The King of Roll's
Are You Lonesome Tonight? gold record. Presley's white 1956 Lincoln Continental was
gaveled down at $250,000 and a Texaco credit card went for $11,000. An old screen door had a
winning bid of $14,000.
Some people just have too much money. Even more have bad taste.
At least the majority of the proceeds are earmarked for a good cause. It is planned that a facility
will be built in Memphis to offer temporary housing and career training for homeless
Lucie Arnaz, daughter of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, has undertaken the daunting
effort of trying to launch a Broadway bound revival of Wonderful Town.
Currently in California, the production spends three weekends in the San Gabriel Civic
Auditorium, and then transfers to the Alex Theatre in Glendale, for another weekend. Broadway
producers as well as Betty Comden have been in or are expected to check out this production in
hopes of getting the backing to transfer it to Broadway.
The delightful musical has a book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov with music by Leonard
Bernstein, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. In 1940 Fields and Chodorov adapted
autobiographical stories that Ruth McKenney had written in the 30s, which were published in
The New Yorker. That was turned into a successful Broadway comedy My Sister
Eileen, which starred Shirley Booth.
The plot centered around Ruth and Eileen Sherwood, two sisters from Ohio who move to
New York. The play was made into a film, also called My Sister Eileen, starring Rosalind
Russell and Janet Blair.
CAST ALBUM FROM FILM
In the 1980's
In 1979 Arnaz made her Broadway debut in the Neil Simon show They're Playing Our
Song, for which she won several awards. She also appeared with Tommy Tune in My One
and Only, and did the national tour of Who's Life Is It Anyway? and Social
Security, the latter with her husband, Laurence Luckinbill. She returned to Broadway
replacing Mercedes Ruehl in Lost In Yonkers, also a Simon creation.
A close friend of Simon, her first child was named after the prolific playwright.
Lucie developed a nightclub act which she performed at Caesars Palace at Lake
Tahoe and the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas.
This revival of Wonderful Town co-stars Cliff Bemis opposite Arnaz and Kate Dawson
plays Eileen. Don Amendolia directs. The production features standards It's Love, A
Quiet Girl, the funny What A Waste and Pass The Football which proves
nothing has changed in the college athletic departments since the song was written.
A TOAST TO LENA HORNE
Gregory Peck, Barbara Sinatra, Cicely Tyson and Lauren Bacall will toast Lena Horne at Avery
Fisher Hall on Oct. 18 in a benefit for the Citizens Committee for New York City.
The gala also launches the first annual Lena Horne Youth Leadership Program, in which 10 New
Yorkers will receive $10,000 scholarships for their community service.
After establishing herself as one of the most exciting nightclub singers of all time, the sultry
Horne, born in Brooklyn, became the first black actress signed to a Hollywood studio contract.
However, for years she was relegated to small musical appearances that were cut for showing in
the South; an exception was her part in the all-black 1943 film Cabin in the Sky.
Her friendship with Paul Robeson got the singer blacklisted. After a 20-year absence she returned
to the screen in a dramatic role in the 1969 movie Death of a Gunfighter.
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SUSAN LUCCI SINGS
When Susan Lucci takes the stage replacing Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun it
won't be the first time the lady has warbled a tune - although it has been a while. Ten years ago
Susan did a concert version of One Touch of Venus. She hasn't sung a note
Encouraged by her friend Rosie O'Donnell who even gave her a karaoke machine - which Lucci
deposed of by giving to charity - the soap siren made a New Year's resolution to get back into
Bolstered by John McVee, who serves as Lucci's rehearsal pianist and has the day job of
O'Donnell's musical director and side kick, Lucci is learning to overcome her vocal
Her fans don't care if she can't carry a tune in a bucket. The minute McVee broke the news on
the O'Donnell talk show that it was Lucci who would substitute for Peters while the talented lady
took a well-deserved vacation, box office lines lit up from customers eager to buy tickets in what
is traditionally a slow period.
Lucci admits that singing isn't "doing what comes naturally" for her and that she's "so scared."
Lucci's turn on board begins Dec. 23- Jan 16.
TALENT SEARCH PROMOTES
Kids Night On Broadway, returning to New York and 20 cities across the country, will be
preceded by a talent search and Kids Fan Fare.
The unique project affords tens of thousands of children ages 6-18 the magic of live theatre with
free tickets to Broadway shows and touring company productions, when accompanied by an adult
purchasing a full priced ticket.
The next major star may be discovered during the Rising Stars Live Broadway Talent Contest,
Oct. 17, which kicks off the first day of ticket sales to Kids Night On Broadway.
The talent event will take place at the Broadway Ticket Center located at the Times Square
Visitors Center between 8:30 a.m. - 5.p.m.
Entrants must be between 8-18, bring a photo and sheet music to a song. Be prepared to sing 16
bars of that song.
The judges will be celebrities and prominent children's talent agents. While the first prize winner
will receive Broadway show tickets, signed posters, CD's and more, the organizers stress that
the talent agents are on the look-out to sign new talent.
Kids Night on Broadway was first created in 1996 by the League of American Theatres and
Producers, Inc. and the Theatre Development Fund. The project was designed to introduce
young people to the magic of live theatre and make it accessible to a new generation of
theatergoers. Since its introduction 150,000 young people have attended productions in New
and across the country.
In addition to New York, cities participating include: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus,
Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis. Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Pittsburgh,
Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and Wilmington.
Participating Broadway Shows include: Annie Get Your Gun, Cats, Chicago, Epic
Proportions, Footloose, It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, Jekyll & Hyde, Kat and the Kings, Kiss
Me, Kate, Less Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Saturday Night
Fever, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Scent of the Roses, and Swing.
The road shows participating include; Cats, The Civil War, Footloose, Les Miserables, Peter
Pan, The Sound of Music, and Titanic.
The music of Charlie Parker kicks off the eighth season of The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band on Oct.
14. Led by music director/trumpeter Jon Faddis the season will feature a four-concert series
produced by George Wein. As in past seasons, the concerts will feature new
Music of Thelonious Monk: A New Perspective takes place Nov. 4 followed by Artie Shaw and
Woody Herman: A New Look on Jan. 20. On March 16 Louis Armstrong: One Hundred Years
will be celebrated.
The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band is comprised of: Howard Alden, Randy Brecker, Todd Coolman,
Jerry Dodgion, Robin Eubanks, Earl Gardner, Slide Hampton, Geoff Keezer, Ryan Kisor, Ralph
Lalama, Dick Oatts, Douglas Purviance, Jerome Richardson, John Riley, Renee Rosness, Gary
Smulyan, Lew Soloff, Terrell Stafford, Bryon Stripling, Steve Turre, Kenny Washington, Peter
Washington, Scott Wendholt, Frank Wess, and Dennis Wilson, among others.
Guest artists have included James Carter, Doc Cheatham, Nneena Freelon, Dave Grusin, Roy
Hargrove, Diana Krall, David Liebman, Kevin Mahogany, Wynton Marsalis, James Moody,
Thelonious Monk, Jr., Joshua Redman, Clark Terry, and Cassandra Wilson.
ALBERTO VITAR an investor and
philanthropist, has pledged a total of $5 million to Carnegie Hall in a multi-year commitment that
will provide $1.5 million to underwrite performances by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra over
the next five years at Carnegie Hall.
FAITH FORD AND CRYSTAL BERNARD star in Beth Henley's 1981 Pulizer Prize-winning comedy, Crimes of
the Heart at Burbank, CA's new Falcon Theatre, Oct 15 to November 28. Garry Marshall
HELLO DOLLY! a Mainstage L.L.C.
production, will be performed at the Brooklyn center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College
on Sunday, October 17, as part of the Emigrant Savings Bank's Swingin' Sundays series at
BCBC. Winner of 10 Tony Awards with book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Jerry
Herman, Hello Dolly! is one of Broadway's longest running musicals, running from 1964
JOLSON October 13-19 at the Music
Hall, Kansas City.
CENTURY OF SONG It's Berlin,
Coward and Webber - 100 years of musicals - October 15-17 Jones Hall, Houston, TX.
DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN Bob
Becker's Broadway smash comedy about man & woman October 12-24, Pantages Theatre, Los
RENT written by Jonathan Larson
and directed by Michael Grief, the story was inspired by Puccini's La Boeme. It's a
bittersweet musical celebrating a community of artists as they struggle with soaring hopes and
tough realities in today's world. October 12-24 at Chrysler Hall, Scope Plaza, Norfolk, VA
October 27-November 7 Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas.
SHORT PERFORMANCE WORKS
by controversial Australian writer/artist David Paul Jobling, who is Australia's only "high profile"
Gay playwright whose work includes children's plays as well as community theatre projects with
HIV+ people. He was scolded for his production of Beckett's Waiting for Godot with a
mixed female/male cast, applauded for his production of David Williamson's Don's Party,
where Jobling made some of the main characters bisexual - will blessings from Williamson. His
Short Performance Works is a collection of pieces written over the last decade.
who was too tall to be a Rockette is just the right size to star in The Great Radio City
Spectacular now in
its fourth successful year at the Flamingo Hilton, Las Vegas.
The statuesque entertainer who lives in Las Vegas, debuted with the show in 1995, has returned
for an indefinite run as the hostess who ties together all aspects of the dazzling production
Anton toured with The Great Radio City Spectacular starring the famed Rockettes, before
the show landed at the Flamingo Hilton. Also in the extravaganza are featured performers Nino
Frediani and Tim Kole.
MANHATTAN TRANSFER Oct
16 at the Palace Theatre, Louisville, KY.
JULIE WILSON at the Algonquin
NYC through Saturday.
CHICK COREA & ORIGIN at the
Blue Note NYC Oct. 12-17.
THIS AND THAT
ROMA DOWNEY who can't sing
has recorded an album. The actress with the lovely Irish accented speaking voice, has cut
Healing Angel, in which she speaks over a collection of inspiration songs about children,
weddings, death and religion. Many of the musical sections are based on ancient Irish prayers and
MEADOWLARK LEMON the
Harlem Globetrotters basketball great turned evangelist will preach at two Protestant services at
Nellis AFB, Las Vegas on Oct. 30.
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Next Column: October 17, 1999
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