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NBC's 'Smash' Star on Broadway In Marilyn Monroe Role: Life Imitates Art Imitates Life Imitates... Where Was I?
February 20, 2012  | By David Bianculli
 

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Megan Hilty, who in NBC's Smash plays one of the actresses vying to play the lead in a new musical about Marilyn Monroe, will star in May in a New York City Center Encores! musical production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the movie version of which featured Monroe singing the ultra-iconic "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

It's a dizzying looking-glass-mirror reflection of art imitating life, squared. But why stop there? I see a reality TV series begging to be made -- and quickly...

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Imagine. NBC's Smash (10 p.m. ET Mondays) shows the development and rehearsal process as the makers of a fictional (for now, anyway) Broadway production called Marilyn: The Musical prepare their show and their cast. Why not a documentary reality series -- or, at the very least, a documentary mini-feature for a DVD Extra on the Smash Season 1 home-video release -- that would do the same, starting very soon, for this other Marilyn-tinged production?

The lineage of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes predates the 1953 screen version, and Marilyn's portrayal. Based on a bestselling novel by Anita Loos, it opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre in 1949, with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Leo Robin, choreography by Agnes de Mille -- and a star-making performance by Carol Channing.

But when Blondes was made into a film four years later, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were the stars, and that was it. Now the curvy Hilty, who has perfected her breathy MM singing and speaking voice on Smash, ought to be a smash when she headlines the Encores! production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on May 9-13.

But imagine, if a behind-the-scenes Making of 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' documentary film, or reality series, is presented in tandem with the breathlessly prepared New York City Center Encores! staging.

It would be like watching Smash all over again. Or watching it for real.

 
 
 
 
 
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