Accomplished actress/singer Alison Janes is new to Los Angeles. Known for her soprano voice and striking looks, Janes is making her mark in the city with film appearances and a new play based on the life of screen legend Marilyn Monroe.
"It’s a very imaginative play that shows you sides of Marilyn Monroe that weren’t often seen or appreciated," said Janes who stars opposite Adam Meyer. "The play is really about who she was underneath. That’s what was important to me, finding her soul and her spirit."
With a little make up, some period clothing and a lot of attitude, Janes brings her inner Marilyn to the fore in the biographical play "Marilyn… MADNESS & ME," running now through Oct. 20 at the Monroe Forum at the El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.
The play tells the true story of a man who met Marilyn and became obsessed with her through his first-person account of her final days before her sudden passing from a drug overdose in 1963. The producers of Marilyn… MADNESS & ME say these accounts were verified in the late actress’s own diary. "I always had a fascination with Marilyn and her myth, and I’ve read a lot about her life, so when I got this role I had a pretty good idea of what she was about," Janes said.
Janes dove head first into her character, picking up a number of books on the legendary star and the impact she had on the industry and the culture. Moreover, Janes watched a number of Monroe’s films to pick up the essence of the quintessential Marilyn that movie goers came to love.
Written by longtime TV writer/producer Frank V. Furino, known for such programs as Flamingo Road, Dallas, Falcon Crest and others, the play is directed by Joe Leonardo whose work includes It’s Better with a Band, Me and My Girl, and Grand Hotel among others.
For Janes, the role is part of a long journey that began as a small child when she sang and play acted in her room. "Singing was always a part of me. I’ve loved to sing ever since I was a small child. Acting came later. Deep down, I’m really shy, but I just loved performing. I knew back then that that’s what I wanted to do with my life so I pushed myself to overcome that shyness," she said.
A New Hampshire native, Janes is known for her work in such films as Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera, Morbid Minutes, Matters of the Heart and others, as well as such stage productions as It’s a Wonderful Life, Sweeney Todd, Pirates of Penzance and many others.
Thanks to her gifted operatic voice, Janes has performed here and around the world with opera companies such as Vox Lumiere, Utah Opera and others. "Music is such a powerful means of communication, and having the opportunity to commune in that way with an audience has taught me so much about the human experience," she said.
A graduate of DePaul University, Janes found success on the Chicago stage rewarding, but her goal was to come to Hollywood and make her mark, and so far, so good. She has recently completed work on the films Louder than Words and The Deep End.
"Any performance career is a challenge, but there is so much more opportunity in Los Angeles. You can make your own career and pursue your passion."
Learn more about Alison Janes.