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Baartman reminiscent of Somers, Bowlby and Monroe as Brooke in ‘Noises Off’


It’s impossible as you Emilie Baartman’s performance in the role of Brooke in Noises Off not to be reminded of Diane Somers as Chrissy Snow in Three’s Company or, more recently, April Bowlby in the role of Kandi on Two and a Half Men or Stacy Barrett in Drop Dead Divas. But for those who want to go way back in time, Baartman is also reminiscent of one Norma Jean Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe.

Both Baartman and Monroe play the ditzy blonde bombshell to perfection … in spite of their drop dead gorgeous good looks. That’s because like Norma Jean, Baartman has that human intelligence to know just how to evince that devastating mix of little girl innocence and big girl sexiness that compels men to view her as the penultimate trophy date. Evidence her in the role of Kia in Deborah Laufer’s dark comedy The Last Schwartz.

In Noises Off, Baartman spends almost the entire show performing in her underwear. But like Monroe, the Vicki Secret lingerie is more of a sight gag that draws in the audience. In the context of the play, the ditzy dumb blonde is just a pretext designed to disguise the fact that she’s an undercover agent working to get the goods on a couple of tax evaders. In that respect, her character displays the same turn-the-tables mentality that she so aptly portrayed as Gloria in Boeing Boeing … which suggests that Baartman could also excel in dramatic roles, were she so inclined.

It would come as no surprise if Baartman’s studied Marilyn Monroe’s body of work. Others have, including Lady Gaga, believe it or not.  Emilie holds a BFA in Theatre, Broadcast and Digital Media from Southwest Minnesota State University (2017) and is currently the Education Assistant at Gulfshore Playhouse. So she’s clearly a student of the craft.

And it’s not just the ditzy demure component of comedy that she handles so well.

Baartman also excels at physical comedy which, of course, is a prerequisite for farce … which, again, warrants parallels to Somers, Bowlby and yes, Marilyn Monroe.

So if you haven’t seen Emilie Baartman in Noises Off, better hurry on down to Lab Theater for tonight’s performance – since Sunday’s closing matinee is sold out. And go here for more on Emilie’s credits.

September 30, 2023.


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