“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything,” once said America’s legendary blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe.

When you take Marilyn Monroe, sexy wine, exciting auction items, lots of laughs and a swanky 1950s vibe and put it altogether … you have The Marvelous Manhattan Comedy Club.

Emerald Coast Theater Company’s fundraising event is set for Friday, June 15, at 560 Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in Miramar Beach. Cocktails and silent auction begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by a comedy show at 8 p.m. The one-night event promises a creative evening of comedy, great food, fun and wine.

The evening showcases the comedic talents and acerbic wit of Lace Larrabee, an Atlanta-based actor, host and nationally touring stand-up comedian, who will headline the event.

But the one-night only affair promises more, including the opportunity to purchase all or part of a collection of Maneater Winery's Marilyn wines. Local Beau Esprit Framing business owners Stacey and Bill Barrett have generously donated the recently appraised 77 bottle $12,000 collection of Merlots, Cabernets and sparkling Cuvee Carneros featuring the 1950’s star on the label, to help raise money for Emerald Coast Theatre Company.

“Stacy and I are big fans of ECTC, so it only made sense for us to donate to the theater,” Bill Barrett said.

The story behind the label's success includes a bit of Hollywood serendipity. Bob and Donna Holder, principal owners of the “Marilyn” Merlots, Cabernets, and Cuvee Carneros, moved from Berkeley to Napa California in 1978. At that time both Bob, a CPA, and high school teacher Donna had a consuming passion for wine. In 1980, the Holders and a few friends toyed with a formula and produced a unique barrel of Cabernet at the couple's home. Though not for sale, their formula became known as “Cannibal Sauvignon.” New to enology or wine making, the Holders soon improved the balance, bouquet and complexity of their creation and their Maneater Winery brand was born. By 1983 the Holder’s began producing a nice quality Merlot on their ever-growing vineyard property. Looking for an appropriate name and a fit with their Maneater image, the first Marilyn Merlot debuted.

Soon, each new vintage of Marilyn Merlot was selling quickly. Collectors and wine enthusiasts with a playful spirit were helping make Marilyn Merlot one of the fastest appreciating wines on the market. While the concept and engaging label was giving these bottles a degree of fame, it was the wine itself that was winning praise from both critics and wine lovers alike.

“We are grateful for this opportunity,” said ECTC artistic producer director Nathanael Fisher. “We invite wine enthusiasts, theater lovers, and all those looking to have an entertaining evening out on the town join us.”

Auction items include donations from Amavida Coffee, Brooks Brothers, Blue Mountain Catering, Cantina Laredo, Emeril's Coastal Italian, Evercrisp, Glow Med Spa, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, Monat Hair Care by Marlyse, Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club, Rosemary Martinek Cruise Planners, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Taylor By the Sea Salon, Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar and Vintij Wine Boutique & Bistro.

Preferred tickets to Marvelous Manhattan Comedy Club are $65; general admission is $50 per person. Tickets include performances from national stand up comedians, 1950's all girl musical review and variety show, Swillin' Classic Cocktails and Nostalgic Nosh, wine and bourbon tastings, chef's prepared nibbles and bites, and chocolate fondue and bubbly.

Proceeds benefit Emerald Coast Theatre Company. ECTC is a non-profit professional theater company founded by Anna and Nathanael Fisher in 2012 with a mission to enrich and entertain the Emerald Coast community through professional and educational theater.

For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.