Welcome to the Bombshell the Musical WikiEdit
A brand new musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe, focused primarily on the Joe DiMaggio years. The rest of Marilyn's biography is covered very much in sketch form from the amazing Houston and Levitt.
Before she was Marilyn Monroe, she was Norma Jeane. At the top of the show, her first marriage has just ended due to her all consuming drive to be a movie star "(LET ME BE YOUR STAR"). As the number finishes, we flash back to the 10-year-old Norma Jeane, who is being dropped off at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre by her single mother, Gladys Baker, a mentally-unstable film cutter who uses the courtyard filled with movie stars’ foot and hand prints to babysit for her daughter (“AT YOUR FEET”).
Flash forward to the adult Norma Jeane, who is now an actress often confronted with the casting couch ("SMASH!"). But Norma Jeane pays her bills by modeling. At one photo shoot, she spies a book of Yeats’ poetry on the shelf and surprises the photographer with her knowledge of the poet’s work as she sings of her history with men (“NEVER GIVE ALL THE HEART”). But even as she quotes Yeats, the song ends with her naked, in the iconic calendar pose.
Norma Jeane changes her name to Marilyn Monroe. A smart agent gets Marilyn a screen test for 20th Century Fox (“THE 20TH CENTURY FOX MAMBO”). The screen test does the trick, and Marilyn becomes a star. Famed Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio sees her picture in a magazine and asks her out. Marilyn goes straight to the ball field for some due diligence (“THE NATIONAL PASTIME”). Marilyn & Joe have their date and it lasts well past dawn (“HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT”). The two quickly fall in love, and marry. While honeymooning in Japan, Marilyn is asked to perform for the troops in Korea. Joe sees firsthand how men react to her and how she loves it. (“I NEVER MET A WOLF WHO DIDN’T LOVE TO HOWL”). When they arrive back in America, Joe does his best to domesticate her with the promise of a simpler life (“MR. & MRS. SMITH”).
Testing out the power of her stardom, Marilyn starts showing up late and refusing roles. Daryl F. Zanuck reacts with anger (“DON’T SAY YES UNTIL I FINISH TALKING”). On location on the streets of New York City, Marilyn shoots the famous skirt blowing up scene for Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch, and the public display enrages Joe, who leaves her (“ON LEXINGTON & 52ND STREET”). Back in Hollywood on her next film, the divorce from Joe becomes official, and as the film wraps, Marilyn resolves to keep going with the only family she knows, the film crew (“CUT, PRINT…MOVING ON”). They smile at her attempt at camaraderie, but long fed up with her on-set behavior, they throw all her wrap presents away, which she discovers as the curtain falls on Act One.
Making one picture after another, Marilyn becomes dissatisfied with the roles she is being offered, “retires” from pictures and flies off to New York City, where she is met by a phalanx of reporters and fans at Idyllwild Airport (“PUBLIC RELATIONS”). More determined than ever to become a great actress, Marilyn begins to study with Lee & Paula Strasberg at The Actor’s Studio (“DIG DEEP”). Huddled around a piano at a party in New York, Marilyn meets esteemed playwright Arthur Miller. She tells him of how her often-institutionalized mother bought a piano once on an infrequent visit home, which is Norma Jeane’s only memory of a happy moment between her and her mother, and that after searching for years, she found the actual piano, bought it, and now takes it with her wherever she lives (“SECOND HAND WHITE BABY GRAND”). Arthur is deeply touched, they fall in love and marry.
With newfound confidence in her acting skills, Marilyn goes to England to film The Prince & The Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier. Unfortunately, Oliver treats her like a “no talent” and she admits to the apprentice hired to look after her that she wonders if the auditioning and always having to prove herself will every stop (“THEY JUST KEEP MOVING THE LINE”). With the box office failure of The Prince & The Showgirl, Marilyn begrudgingly heads back to Hollywood to film Some Like It Hot, but she is so unhappy about still having to play the dumb blonde that she begins spiraling down, keeping the crew waiting more than ever, as she drinks and takes pills (“LET’S BE BAD”). Soon, Arthur Miller, watching her even worse behavior as she film his screenplay, The Misfits, realizes he can’t help her or even stay with her (“THE RIGHT REGRETS”).
On her own back in Hollywood, Marilyn attends a fundraiser for JFK in Palm Springs, where Nat King Cole entertains, rallying the super glamorous guests (“(LET’S START) TOMORROW TONIGHT”). At the fundraiser, Marilyn meets JFK, sparks fly, and they begin to sneak off together whenever he can manage to get away. But it is a degrading and doomed relationship (“OUR LITTLE SECRET”).
Fired from her latest film, used up by the Kennedys and deeply under the influence of pills and booze, Marilyn fantasizes about visiting her mother at the sanitarium, where – in the dream – Gladys says all the things to Marilyn that she always wanted to her (“HANG THE MOON”). But when she awakens to find herself alone, Marilyn calls one friend after another as the drugs and alcohol have a lasting, lethal effect on her. Marilyn’s spirit looks back on what she has done with her life, and how she hopes to be remembered (“DON’T FORGET ME”).