"A STAR IS PORN" screamed the headline in the April 5, 1976 issue of Screw alongside six photos of a nude Marilyn posing in provocative positions. The musical sex comedy Le Bellybutton was touted by Manny Neuhaus in the accompanying article as "perhaps the most professionally produced of its kind to come along in a great while and promises to overflow with nudity, fast-paced laughs and simulated sex." However, the Screw review was one of the only and most complimentary the show received despite its massive publicity campaign.
Opening in previews on March 26, with an official opening on April 2, at the Diplomat Cabaret Theatre on Broadway, the show closed after only 28 performances. For a detailed behind-the scenes look at the production pick up Elizabeth L. Wollman's book Hard Times.
Disco Baby/Dance For Me (Jim Sbano, Marilyn, Company)
Bisexual Blues (Alan Lee Kootsher)
The S&M Polka (Company)
Gotta Get Back to You (Marilyn, Thommie Bush, Larry Kingery)
Night Lady (Jim Sbano, Larry Kingery, Marilyn)
Love Child (Thommie Bush, Company)
I Never Let Anyone Beat Me but You (Debbie Kinney)
Jenny (Jessie Hill)
A Sucker's Soliloquy (Billy Padgett, Paulette Sanders, Company)
Marilyn's Theme (Marilyn)
She (Jim Sbano)
Morning Light (Alan Scott, Suzanne Walker, Marilyn)
Come Back Home Baby (Paulette Sanders, Jim Sbano)
Let Me Make Love to You (Marilyn)
Did you see Le Bellybutton? Contact me.
Le Bellybutton (1976)
Cast: Marilyn Chambers, Thommie Bush, Jessie Hill, Adrienne Frimet, Larry Kingery, Debbie Kinney, Alan Lee Kootsher, Billy Padgett, Paulette Sanders, Jim Sbano, Alan Scott, Suzanne Walker
Staged by: Scott Mansfield
Produced by: Jolandrea Music Inc. in association with Gail Davis, Parker Wilson and Edmund Gaynes
Music and Lyrics by: Scott Mansfield
Production Designed by: David Chapman
Orchestrations and Musical Direction by: Ken Werner
Choreography by: Katherine Hull and Louise Quick
General Manager: Malcolm Allen
Production Stage Manager: Alan Fox
Venue: Diplomat Cabaret Theater, New York City, NY
Opened: April 2, 1976 / Closed: 26 performances
Marilyn and the cast of Le Bellybutton.
Right: Sheet music for "Marilyn's Theme" and "Jenny" were released despite the show closing after 26 performances.
The only surviving recording of Le Bellybutton is a well-worn bootleg that's been circulating for more than 40 years. The above snippet, while not of ideal quality, is included here for its rarity.
Right: Marilyn and cast mates posing and wearing the official Le Bellybutton t-shirt given to cast and crew.