Marilyn Monroe's mystique transcends generations.
Had she not died so young, she would have turned 85 this year.
But the infamous 36-year-old blond bombshell is as much an enigma today as she was when she died of an overdose in 1962.
The one-woman stage show, Marilyn: Forever Blonde starring Sunny Thompson takes the audience back to the last photo session before her untimely death.
What is most amazing about this show, which opened Oct. 15 at the Power House Theatre in Walla Walla, is that Thompson is totally convincing in the role. She looks like Marilyn, talks like Marilyn, walks like Marilyn, giggles like Marilyn, moves like Marilyn. In essence, she is Marilyn.
But there's more to Marilyn: Forever Blonde than an actor portraying an icon. The storyline, which was written by Thompson's husband Greg, was taken from hundreds of actual quotes Monroe made throughout her career.
As Greg Thompson says in the show's program, "These are the final thoughts of a little girl who became a legend, and in turn could never be loved or accepted for herself."
Sunny grabs the audience's attention from the moment the stage lights come up. She is wrapped in a white satin sheet on a giant bed that's surrounded by studio light stands, posing for the photographer.
The set is exquisitely designed to suit a 1960s Hollywood photographer's studio with mountains of chiffon. Thompson's glitzy costumes are all replicas of the ones Marilyn wore.
The audience is further mesmerized by the elements of humor and music that complete the storyline of this fabulously produced play. Thompson also tosses in a repertoire of familiar songs Marilyn performed in movies such as Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.
The story is bewitching from the moment it starts. And the last scene tugs so hard at your heart that it's difficult not to shed a tear.
There's a very good reason Marilyn: Forever Blonde has won so many awards and traveled extensively around the globe. Not only is Marilyn Monroe still alive in the hearts of men and women everywhere, Sunny Thompson gives us a two-hour visit with an incredible woman who was generous, kind and totally misunderstood.
Marilyn: Forever Blonde continues at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20-22, 26-29 with 3 p.m. matinees Oct. 23 and 30. at the Power House Theatre, 111 N. Sixth St., Walla Walla. Tickets cost $10 to $50 and are available at www.phtww.com or call 509-742-0739.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com