When Michelle Williams was cast as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, the blogosphere lit up with outrage and petulant assertions that "even drag queens" could do it better. Well, duh. When it comes to larger-than-life female sexuality, drag queens always do it better.
We don't think Jimmy James will be there, but he sets a high standard for those who will.
A contest Wednesday night at the Eureka Theatre called Marilyn Madness will prove which one does it best. Theater company 42nd Street Moon has invited a parade of Blonde Bombshells to pout, heave, and flutter their bedroom eyes for the cameras prior to the staging of Sugar (whose director, Dyan McBride, we interviewed last week), a musical comedy based on the screenplay Some Like It Hot by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. (While this 40th anniversary production features a real-live girl in the title role, don't hold it against her; Joe and Jerry still get dolled up.)
As with any good drag show, Marilyn Madness is audience choice, and votes for MM queen-bee are tallied in hard currency. The tips, however, don't disappear into finely formed cleavage. Rather, they benefit the MoonSchool, which specializes in teaching the vanishing art of American musical theater to students as young as 8.
Videos for each contestant will be available online and prior to curtain of the show's run after Wednesday, but there's nothing like the smell of nylons and foundation under limelight, so get there in time to see them live.
Marilyn Madness starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday (April 11) at Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson (at Front), S.F. Admission is $25-$60.