09 May 2012

Dial 'M' for Marlene

As I told you all before, a Greta Garbo alter-ego has been planting stories about Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe. Well, I'm glad to play along now that I know Miss Gussie Berger isn't here to pat our pockets and catch the culprit who stole her sugar cubes. Straight from the original Swedish horse's mouth, I'd like to share with you the news about . . .

A delightful new comedy by Gary LeGault, based upon an intimate Park Avenue cocktail party hosted by Marlene Dietrich in the wee hours following Marilyn Monroe's January 7th, 1955 press conference, announcing her break from Hollywood and relocation to New York.  Dial 'M' for Marlene is a biographical drama, based upon actual, historical events.

The play stars Catherine Lydon as Marlene, Lana Harper as Marilyn, Jeremy Ebenstein as Milton Greene with Sophie Brabanec as his wife, Amy.  Rounding out the cast are Peter Cluff, Timm Carney, and Bruce Culpepper in a number of supporting roles.

Dial 'M' for Marlene will be presented at The Complex on Thursday, June 28th, continuing through Sunday, July 15th, in the Flight Theatre, located at 6472 Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood's "Theater Row."  Performance are at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons.  Valet parking is available for Friday and Saturday evening performances.  Copies of the theatrical poster may be purchased at the theater, signed by the artist (and playwright), Gary LeGault. 

All seats are $25.  For reservations, please call (310) 360-7064.

Incidentally, this ain't LeGault's first time at the Monroe rodeo, as Marilyn made an appearance in his 2010 play, Doctor Noguchi. I plan on attending Dial 'M' for Marlene but am not sure when. Of course, don't hesitate to say, "Hello," if you see me. Before then, I hope to get some photos of the actors in costume, so cross your fingers.

By the way,  I did read about the demise of Charles Higham (in fact, I get most news you find on Google in a daily digest; if you want to know how to do the same, just ask). After one of my favorite readers, Paul, pointed it out, I re-read Higham's Dietrich biography, Marlene: The Life of Marlene Dietrich, and scrawled copious notes. I'll hammer out some thoughts soon. 

On another somber note (at least for me), a recent video that intrigued me enough to post about it is now private. I hope this blog wasn't the catalyst because I see that other videos on that channel are still publicly available. In a broader context, the privatization of extraordinary videos on the Web has been saddening me for quite some time, particularly in the case of the mrsrudolfsieber and MarleneDietrichVideo YouTube channels. I don't know why this trend has been taking place but have my unfounded suspicions.

Enough of that misery! In case you've got a severe case of myopia and never notice the sidebar, I'd like to draw your attention to the "Horseathon." Yes, a horseathon. I'll participate gleefully, just as Dietrich partook in Carole Lombard's 1935 Venice pier party. To tell you the truth, I'm finding lots of equine parables related to Marlene. Also, many of you have been viewing the Mapping Marlene Dietrich Google Maps project, but few are participating. Please add to it and edit it. We need you!


  1. I would love to partake in mapping Marlene,I check every day,but it is far too complicated for me.I have untold pics of Marlene taken in the 60's and 70's(mostly not published) but dont have a clue how to scan them,however I have had Marlene on google alert for ever so I am not quite that dumb.I am rereading Higham as well and will confer with you.Keep up the good work. Paul
    How do I get to be not "anonymous",can't figure it out

    1. Paul, what do you think about the Google Alert? I find that I have to search Google anyway because the daily results are mostly superficial, name-dropping articles and blog posts. Journalists and bloggers are so lazy--how many times can they talk about Dietrich wearing pants?

      About the Mapping Marlene Project, you can post addresses in the comments section of any post here, with background information about those locations. I can then add markers with that info to the map. As for photos, they're great but not necessary. If we can't add them now, hopefully someone else will in the future.

      The easiest way to comment without being anonymous is to click the drop-down menu below the comment text-box that says "Select profile..." and click one of the account types listed (e.g., "Google Account"). After you press the "Publish" button to post your comment, you will have to log-in with whatever account type you selected. I personally prefer to be logged into my Google account before I even write a comment because I sometimes lose what I wrote during this process.

    2. I don't find Google alerts that great,how many designers are inspired by Dietrich?However today you are mentioned in one of my alerts by the woman who did the Lady Gaga item,so it isn't all bad.I am going to try Mapping on my own,and try to get to grips with it first and see how it works Paul

    3. I'm glad to see you can log in here, and now that I see your username, I have a hunch that I've seen your work on Ebay.

      Please feel free to practice on the Mapping Marlene Dietrich project to get used to editing Google maps. I think you may have added a marker already near Greenland?

    4. Joseph,I think I did drop that bomb on Greenland and didn't know how to get rid of it,I am so sorry.I have just found Grenville Hall(a home for elderly actors)where I believe Bernard Hall ended up,if you find the site and click on History there is a very nice picture of Marlene with Noel Coward.

    5. Sorry,a typo it should be Denville Hall.

    6. No problem! I can remove it from the map easily. I just wanted to make sure you didn't want to add information to that spot because I know Dietrich went to Greenland and perhaps other polar regions during WWII.

      As for Denville Hall, thanks for telling me about it because I never knew such an institution exists in the U.K. There's a similar home in the Los Angeles area administered by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, but I've been reading about it possibly closing.