One of the first songs in the musical—sung by Mrs. Johnstone—constantly returns to the refrain of Marilyn Monroe. At first, Mrs. Johnstone views the movie star as a figure of glamor and wealth, and aspires to be like her. She’s flattered when people compare her to the platinum blonde, and even sometimes uses her sex appeal to manipulate men in power. As the musical continues, however, Mrs. Johnstone compares herself negatively to Marilyn Monroe, noting that she herself has become old and poor, quite unlike her idol. She continually comes back to the movie star, however, and as her family’s luck gets worse and worse, Mrs. Johnstone notices how poorly Marilyn Monroe’s life turned out as well. The parallels between Marilyn Monroe and the Johnstones continue late into the play, as when Mrs. Johnstone compares her son Mickey’s dependence on antidepressants to Monroe’s own addiction struggles. Although Monroe began as an icon of beauty and aspiration, she ends up being yet another tragic example of a life gone terribly awry.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Marilyn Monroe appears in Blood Brothers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...days of their courtship, when he flattered her by saying that she was “sexier than Marilyn Monroe ,” and took her dancing. Things went downhill, however, when Mrs. Johnstone got pregnant. The... (full context)
...about what happens next: the jury sentences Mickey to seven years in prison, and like Marilyn Monroe , he falls into a deep depression. A doctor enters, and prescribes Mickey antidepressants (also... (full context)