Tag Archives: Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Forever Blonde - Sunny Thompson diamonds - photo by Howard PetrellaGentlemen may prefer blondes, but this blonde prefers Sunny Thompson and her re-imagining of the life of the legendary blonde bombshell in her one-woman show Marilyn: Forever Blonde that runs now thru Sunday Feb 15th at the equally beautiful Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge Street (just N. of Queen), Toronto.

The American singer/actress brings years of Monroe research to the stage with this theatrical tour de force that takes us from the bubbly ingenue Norma Jean up her ladder-climb to success and subsequent fall from grace that never gets maudlin or self-indulgent. I never caught Sunny acting – she WAS Marilyn. Thompson inhabited the character and took her time narrating Marilyn’s life story with a few wink-wink nudge-nudge moments when justifying the road Marilyn took to reach the top….detours and potholes and all.  She seduces us with tales of her many lovers, husbands and betrayers.

Marilyn Forever Blonde - Sunny Thompson blue robe -  photo by Howard PetrellaThe seamier side of her later life is not dwelt upon too harshly; yes, we “meet” Jack and Bobby Kennedy and a few other bad good guys, but as Marilyn drifts away from us on stage, the audience feels protective and carries her gently into Hollywood folk lore upon waves of applause.

The numerous costume changes were done modestly on stage behind a back-lit screen that teased us with Marilyn’s/Sunny’s gorgeous bod, and the dresses…oh those dresses…were dripping in “diamonds” and jewels that shimmered as she shimmied across the stage, speaking and singing in that breathy voice we remember so well.

sunnyThe two-act musical play, written & produced by Sunny’s husband, Greg Thompson, has toured the world for the past 7 years and I encourage you to grab your tickets a.s.a.p. for the 4-day run at the Winter Garden. The experience with leave you breathless…and humming the tunes that should bring back a few memories. Songs like My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Some Like it Hot, Let’s Make Love and of course, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, are all included, some sung a capella, others with recorded music, and even Ol’ Blue Eyes makes an audio appearance, too.

After the show, we attended a brief reception to celebrate opening night and I ran into some old friends, including the incomparable Micah Barnes (below with handsome actor/bartender David).

20150211_222900Sunny made it out of the dressing room and kindly signed autographs and posed for photos with her adoring fans (below), much like Marilyn did.

20150211_222953 20150211_223034 20150211_223048As we left, I took a few shots of the theatre itself…if you’ve never been to the Winter Garden, you can take a tour during the day – definitely worth a trip. And the theatre has a ghost, too. Wonder what she thought of Marilyn tonight?

20150211_223400 20150211_223448 20150211_223459Big thanks to Flip Publicity for the great seats for opening night. And finally, one more bravo and a big standing O to Sunny Thompson who you can follow via her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunnythompsona

Sunny Thompson as Marilyn in Marilyn Forever Blonde - photo by Howard PetrellaStudio shots courtesy of Howard Petrella.

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Local media personality NIK BEAT is not content to host one of the longest running college radio shows in Canada (Howl! Tuesdays @ 10pm on CIUT-FM), be a published author and poet, musician and concert promoter, he is also an accomplished painter and collage artist. On Saturday October 12th between 1pm and 6pm, Nik will create two large format pop collages live at GALLERY CATALYST, 666 Queen St West, Toronto. Nik

To add extra dimension and energy to the event, Nik will be joined by a cadre of local musicians, performance artists and exotic dancers as he works in much the same way as legendary Artists Eleven founder William Ronald did when he painted in his later years (Ronald would surround himself with strippers, models and a variety of entertainers as he painted his masterworks). Their participation promises surprises, provocation and innovative interactive entertainment for the audience and art fans at Catalyst. Featured guests include: cellist, performance & visual artist Dana McCool, vocalist & violinist Andrea De Boer of Blue Venus, singer/songwriter Michael Marian, and LA/Las Vegas based life model & exotic dancer Ariel whose father was a Mr. Universe and mother a Cherokee Native American.

Nik’s two pieces are being created live to promote collaging as an art form, and to promote the nearly thirty pieces that are currently featured at the recently opened Catalyst Gallery, owned by Yorkville gallery owner and Toronto arts community veteran Brian Liss, who represents artwork by Ringo Starr, Bernie Taupin and Ron Wood.  On the following Saturday, October 19th, Gallery Catalyst hosts a special open house between 7-10pm featuring a number of their artists, and Nik will unveil his latest collage masterwork Welcome to Hellywood as well as 3 other large format works: Sex on Sunday, The Love Machine and Elvis’ Favourite Recipe-Cool Radio.  (see samples of Nik’s previous work below)

Hellywood Nik-1 Nik-4 Nik

Nik Beat invites all fans of fine art and performance art to visit the gallery and be a part of the inspiration and creativity.

Follow Nik on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikbeat1 or visit the gallery website at www.GalleryCatalyst.com



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