My friend Mark came to town last month and we saw "Grey Gardens" on Broadway. It was amazing and I started to write a post about it but never finished. Well, low and behold it was just nominated for ten Tony's, including...
Best Musical, Leading Actress in a Musical - Christine Ebersole (She will win! She will win!), Featured Actress in a Musical - Mary Louise Wilson, Book of a Musical, Original Score, Director, Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Orchestrations.
If any of you are planning a trip to New York, "Grey Gardens" is a MUST for your to-do list. It's based on the cult documentary about Jackie Kennedy Onassis' aunt and first cousin, Edith Bouvier Beale and "Little" Edie. Before you see it, you should do a little research so you know what it's about - it will enrich your experience! Here is a great article about it.
Christine Ebersole played Big Edie in the first half and Little Edie in the second. I was blown away by her performance and cried *real* hard at the end. Little Edie was essentially a schizophrenic (well, it's now rumored she was—at the time she was never diagnosed) and Christine Ebersole perfectly captured how funny, tragic, and vulnerable she was. Both she and her mother were outcasts of society who had delusions of grandeur, which is why I was so moved. When Christine Ebersole bowed at the end, it was as if Little Edie was up there on stage, bowing as well. She finally got her moment on Broadway... and it was so damn sweet.
Anyway, a feature film is in the works, and Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange are attached to play Little and Big Edie. The writer/director (Michael Sucsy) is a good friend of Mark's, so I've been hearing about Grey Gardens for years.
Like I said, the musical is based on a documentary. To see great excepts from it (as well as funny remixes and spoofs), visit YouTube and do a search for "Grey Gardens." (Don't watch excepts from the musical—you'll ruin it!—just the documentary!) Here's a great clip re-edited to Madonna music:
Fun Fact: Little Edie and her "revolutionary costumes" have served as inspiration for many fashion designers, including Marc Jacobs:
It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present, you know what I mean?" — Little Edie