Episode from the podcastMy Favorite Flop

A Single Dream

Released Tuesday, 5th January 2021
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"All roads lead to Hollywood" as hosts Bobby and Kristina discuss 1983's Marilyn: An American Fable on the season one premiere of My Favorite Flop.


Inspired by the life of celebrity Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn: An American Fable takes a highly fictionalized look at Hollywood’s legendary bombshell while also maintaining its supposed authenticity. (The show was apparently “authorized” and endorsed by Lee Strasberg’s wife, Anna) It was one of two musicals about the star to open that year alone, and one of at least five that have been created since her death. The show features a book by Patricia Michaels with music and lyrics by Jeanne Napoli, Doug Frank, Gary Portnoy, Beth Lawrence, Norman Thalheimer, James Komack, Wally Harper, and David Zippel.

Between sabotaged sets, a fired director, and a leading lady replaced just ten days before its first preview, this show made it to opening night with even more baggage than the real-life Marilyn carried with her during her actual life. The show shuttered after only 17 performances and became largely forgotten until it became a footnote in the pilot of NBC’s SMASH in 2012.

Original Broadway Cast

  • Alyson Reed as Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe

  • Kristi Coombs as Young Norma Jean

  • Peggy Blue, Michael Kubula, and T.A. Stephens as Destiny

  • Scott Bakula as Joe DiMaggio

  • George Dvorsky as Jim Dougherty

  • Will Gerard as Arthur Miller

  • Melissa Bailey as Louella

  • Mary Testa as Hedda

  • Steve Shocket as Strasberg

  • Willy Falk as Tommy

  • Lise Lang as Sis

  • Debi Monahan as Pat

  • Ty Crowley as Acting Coach

  • Gary-Michael Davies as Director

  • Deborah Dotson as Hairdresser

  • Ed Forsyth as Camera Man

  • Mitchell Greenberg as Agent

  • James Haskins as Photographer

  • Alan North as Studio Head

  • Michael Rivera as Designer

  • Dooba Wilkins as Coach

  • Mark Ziebell as Serviceman

  • Jodi Benson as Factory Girl

  • Eileen Casey, Andrew Charles, Kevin Cort, Mark Esposito, Marcial Gonzalez, Christine Gradl, and Marguerite Lowell as Ensemble

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