Walter Kerr Theatre, (11/02/2006 - 7/29/2007)

First Preview: Oct 03, 2006
Opening Date: Nov 02, 2006
Closing Date: Jul 29, 2007
Total Previews: 33
Total Performances: 307

Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway
Setting: Act I: July, 1941, Grey Gardens, East Hampton, Long Island, NY; Act II: 1973, The Same.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by East of Doheny, Staunch Entertainment, Randall L. Wreghitt/Mort Swinsky, Michael Alden and Edwin W. Schloss; Produced in association with Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford: Artistic Director, Leslie Marcus: Managing Director)

Developed with the assistance of The Sundance Institute

Book by Doug Wright; Lyrics by Michael Korie; Music by Scott Frankel; Music orchestrated by Bruce Coughlin; Musical Director: Lawrence Yurman; Based on the film "Grey Gardens" by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer and Susan Froemke

Directed by Michael Greif; Musical Staging by Jeff Calhoun; Associate Director: Johanna McKeon; Associate Choreographer: Jodi Moccia

Scenic Design by Allen Moyer; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Peter Kaczorowski; Sound Design by Brian Ronan; Projection Design by Wendall K. Harrington; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Associate Scenic Design: Warren Karp; Associate Projection Design: Zachary Borovay; Associate Costume Design: Scott Traugott, Donald Sanders and Patrick Chevillot (Also: Associate Costume Designer, Grey Gardens (Off-Broadway Production)); Automated Lights Programmer: Josh Weitzman

General Manager: Alan Wasser Associates and Allan Williams; Executive Producer: Beth Williams; Company Manager: Mark D. Shacket

Production Stage Manager: Judith Schoenfeld; Production Manager: Juniper Street Productions; Stage Manager: J. Philip Bassett

Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Lawrence Yurman; Associate Conductor: Paul Staroba; Keyboards: Paul Staroba; Violin: Eric DeGioia; Cello: Anik Oulianine; Reeds: Ken Hitchcock and Todd Groves; Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Daniel Urness; French Horn: Patrick Pridemore; Acoustic Bass: Brian Cassier; Percussion/Drums: Tim McLafferty; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation; Synthesizer Programmer: Randy Cohen

Press Representative: The Publicity Office; Marketing: TMG - The Marketing Group; Casting: Telsey + Company; Dialect Coach: Deborah Hecht; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Christine Ebersole''Little'' Edie Beale / Edith Bouvier Beale
Mary Louise WilsonEdith Bouvier Beale
Matt CavenaughJoseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.
Erin Davie
Broadway Debut
Young "Little" Edie Beale
Kelsey Fowler
Broadway Debut
Lee Bouvier
Sarah Hyland
Broadway Debut
Jacqueline "Jackie" Bouvier
John McMartinJ.V. "Major" Bouvier
Norman Vincent Peale
Michael PottsBrooks, Sr.
Brooks, Jr.
Bob StillmanGeorge Gould Strong

Standby: Abigail Ferenczy (Jacqueline "Jackie" Bouvier, Lee Bouvier), Donald Grody (J.V. "Major" Bouvier, Norman Vincent Peale), Michael W. Howell (Brooks, Jr., Brooks, Sr.), Megan Lewis (Young "Little" Edie Beale), Maureen Moore (''Little'' Edie Beale / Edith Bouvier Beale), Asa Somers (George Gould Strong, Jerry, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.) and Dale Soules (Edith Bouvier Beale)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2007 Best Musical [nominee] 

Produced by East of Doheny, Staunch Entertainment, Randall L. Wreghitt/Mort Swinsky, Michael Alden and Edwin W. Schloss; Produced in association with Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford: Artistic Director, Leslie Marcus: Managing Director)

 2007 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Doug Wright

 2007 Best Original Score [nominee] 

Music by Scott Frankel; Lyrics by Michael Korie

winner 2007 Best Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Christine Ebersole

winner 2007 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Mary Louise Wilson

 2007 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

Michael Greif

 2007 Best Orchestrations [nominee] 

Bruce Coughlin

 2007 Best Scenic Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Allen Moyer

winner 2007 Best Costume Design of a Musical [winner] 

William Ivey Long

 2007 Best Lighting Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Peter Kaczorowski

Theatre World

winner 2007 Award [recipient] 

Erin Davie


music by Scott Frankel; lyrics by Michael Korie

ACT 1 Sung By
The Girl Who Has EverythingEdie, Jackie and Lee
The Five-FifteenEdie, Gould, Brooks, Sr., Edith, Jackie and Lee
Mother, DarlingEdie, Edith and Gould
Goin' PlacesJoe and Edie
Marry WellJ.V. "Major" Bouvier, Brooks, Sr., Jackie , Lee and Edie
Hominy GritsEdith, Gould, Jackie and Lee
Peas in a PodEdie and Edith
Drift AwayGould and Edith
The Five-Fifteen (Reprise) Edith
Daddy's GirlEdie
The TelegramEdie
Will You?Edith
ACT 2 Sung By
The Revolutionary Costume for TodayEdie
The Cake I HadEdith
Entering Grey GardensCompany
The House We Live InEdie and Company
Jerry Likes My CornEdith and Edie
Around the WorldEdie
Will You? (Reprise) Edith and Edie
Choose to Be HappyNorman Vincent Peale and Company
Around the World (Reprise) Edie
Another Winter in a Summer TownEdie and Edith
The Girl Who Has Everything (Reprise) Edith and Edie


AP: "The Beales arrive on Broadway"

Let us again sing the praises of a genuine star turn - a performance so galvanizing that it jump-starts an entire production.

The performer in question is the astonishing Christine Ebersole, who in the course of two acts portrays a pair of unusual ladies - Edith Bouvier Bealeand her daughter, "Little" Edie Beale, the eccentric aunt and the equally strange cousin of Jacqueline Onassis.

The musical is called "Grey Gardens," and Ebersole was cheered when the show opened last March at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. If anything, her work is even better at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre, where the production arrived Thursday. It's richer and deeper, layered with a heartbreaking sense of loss that could have been obscured by the comic, often hilariously loopy antics of these reclusive women.

At first glance, the Beales, mother and daughter, are unlikely subjects for musical theater. The show, a blending of fact and fiction, is based on the 1975 film documentary made by the Maysles brothers, David and Albert, about the ladies and their lives in a decrepit, decaying Long Island mansion called Grey Gardens.

There was still work to be done when the show, which has a book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie, premiered last March. The first act, set in 1941, was too long - a faux Cole Porter-like reimagining of the Beales' life before everything fell apart.

Now the act is tighter, more focused, with several numbers deleted and a couple new, marginally better ones added. In Act 1, Ebersole is the mother, a society lady with vocal aspirations and a penchant for dominating her daughter, played by the lovely Erin Davie, a new addition to the cast.

The household is abuzz at Edle's engagement to Joseph Kennedy Jr. (yes, those Kennedys), portrayed with earnest affability by Matt Cavenaugh. It's also being tom apart by the bickering between mother and daughter and the absence of a distant, errant Wall Street father.

Wright, author of the Tony-winning "I Am My Own Wife," nicely sets up the conflict between the two women, foreshadowing the collapse of their lives in the second act. After intermission, 30 years have gone by, with Edith, now played by Mary Louise Wilson, and "Little" Edie (Ebersole at her most triumphant), more dependent than ever on each other.

Wilson gives a masterful performance, too. She's a cranky, comic delight, able to hold her own with the formidable Ebersole, who pretty much wraps up the evening with her show-stopping number that opens Act 2.

Called "The Revolutionary Costume for Today," the song - in which she describes her unusual apparel - encapsulates "Little" Edie's delightfully off-kilter personality. And Ebersole, dressed in a tight chocolate-brown outfit and black snood, delivers it with enormous conviction.

The score by Frankel and Korie then becomes more interesting, moving away from the pastiche numbers that fill the musical's first half. For example, there's the haunting "Another Winter in a Summer Town," as Edie recognizes time is passing and she is trapped by staying, season after season, with her mother.

Director Michael Greif has pruned "Grey Gardens" effectively, so the warfare between the two ladies is never far from the show's surface.

It doesn't leave much room for the other characters to develop, but the urbane John McMartin makes an impression as grandfather J.V. "Major" Bouvier as does Bob Stillman as the older Edie's acerbic, alcoholic piano accompanist.

And there even is strong support from the girls playing Edith's two young nieces, Jacqueline (Sarah Hyland) and Lee (Kelsey Fowler) Bouvier, and Michael Potts as a loyal servant.

Designer Allen Moyer's settings are studies in contrasts - the fantasy world of an opulent summer home in Act 1, juxtaposed with the squalor of the second act. And William Ivey Long's costumes are exemplary - perfect period clothing and then the bizarre get-ups of those later years.

"You lived. I never lived," a defiant Edie says to her mother at the beginning of "Grey Gardens" - before the show flashes back to the 1940s. That may be true. But in Ebersole's glorious performance, the woman truly comes alive on stage.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Walter Kerr Theatre

(11/2/2006 - 7/29/2007)
Stage Manager: Stephen R. Gruse(Nov 6, 2006 - ?); Assistant Stage Mgr: Colleen Danaher(Nov 6, 2006 - ?), Bryan Landrine(Mar 10, 2007 - May 6, 2007); Stage Manager: Bryan Landrine(May 8, 2007 - ?).

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