Carole Shelley Lends an Ear to Monroe in Pittsburgh World Premiere of Jackie and Marilyn

News   Carole Shelley Lends an Ear to Monroe in Pittsburgh World Premiere of Jackie and Marilyn
Tony Award winner Carole Shelley will play Marilyn Monroe's assistant and confidante in the world premiere, The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, at Pittsburgh Public Theater this fall.

The play by Mark Hampton and Michael Sharp is based on the book "The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy" by Wendy Leigh.

Performances begin Nov. 9 toward an official opening Nov. 17. The show runs through Dec. 10.

According to PPT notes, the play "depicts a friendship between the two most glamorous women on the planet. As the paparazzi close in on them, Jackie and Marilyn cling to each other for solace and salvation, and two lives fated for glory careen towards disaster." It's "a seductive mix of history, gossip and fiction."

The play is PPT's first of two world premieres in 2006-07. Leonard Foglia (Broadway's Master Class, On Golden Pond) will direct.

Heather Tom, of "One Life To Life," will portray Marilyn Monroe. Tom recently announced she's leaving daytime television to go to Los Angeles, but her first stop is Pittsburgh Public. Stage and television actress Gretchen Egolf will play Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

Shelley — who won a Best Actress (Play) Tony for The Elephant Man and was Madame Morrible in Wicked and Gwendolyn in the original production of The Odd Couple — will portray "Patty, Marilyn's assistant and confidante."

The Secret Letters design team will include scenic designer Michael McGarty, costume designer David C. Woolard, lighting designer Howell Binkley and sound designer Zach Moore.

As previously announced, PPT will present the world premiere of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens' new musical The Glorious Ones, directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, in spring 2007.

The resident Equity theatre launched its current season Sept. 28 with Sophocles' Oedipus the King, directed by PPT producing artistic director Ted Pappas. Opening is Oct. 6.

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