Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe impersonators woo the crowd—and the camera—at the opening party for the "Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe" exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. (Photo: Suzy McMillen for

When most folks think of the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Blvd.), they're thinking, "Hmmmm, nice place to go for a charity event or to hang out if you're a senior citizen during lunchtime."

In an effort to change that pretty boring image, the center's shaking things up by going for the sexiest exhibition they could possibly host: Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe. The massive, two-floor project captures the spark that was Marilyn through the art of Andy Warhol, Allen Jones, Peter Blake, Richard Avedon, Bert Stern and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The opening party a few weeks ago also did all things dedicated to the screen goddess, from Marilyn-themed cocktails to appetizers based on her most popular movies (think "Some Like It Hot" and "How to Marry a Millionaire"). Of course there were Marilyn impersonators and a deejay spinning remixes of her greatest hits.

If you haven't checked out the exhibition yet, which continues through Sept. 21, Lawry’s The Prime Rib has teamed up with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs for the Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe Dinner Package, happening on August 20.

Guests get a guided tour of the exhibition from 5:30-6:30pm, hosted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs' Gregory G. Knight, then head to Lawry's for dinner.

They've whipped up quite a feast dedicated to the diva, which begins with a Champagne Teaser (her fave beverage!), followed by her favorite foods: hot dogs, caviar, "The Marilyn Cut" of roasted prime rib of beef, and “Blondies” served with coffee ice cream.

Event tix are $85, including tax and gratuity.

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