Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, respectively, were once East Hamptons most notorious recluses. The musical-theater piece Grey Gardens examines their fall from rich, socially spotlighted women to two hermits living in a home overrun with cats.
Director Craig Bond first saw the production on Broadway, before it won Tony Awards in 2007 for Best Actress and Best Featured Actress. I was drawn to the subject material because I thought it was a very interesting score, Bond notes. Its unusual to see musical theater these days that isnt true fluff.
And fluff Grey Gardens is not. The central theme of the piece is the story of Edie and Edith, Bond explains, and I really liked how defined it was as far as not depicting either one as good or bad. Its not a black-and-white story. Its more just the shades of gray of each character. Youre not sure who was right or who was wrong throughout the entire telling, because theyre both vying for attention and telling you their side of it, so youre left to your own interpretation as to whether theyre good or bad or equally well-defined.
The hilarious (and heartbreaking) take opens tonight for its regional premiere at Vintage Theatre, 2119 East 17th Avenue; it will run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through June 12 (with a special Industry Night offered on Tuesday, May 24). Tickets are $18 to $28; call 303-839-1361 or visit www.vintagetheatre.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: May 13. Continues through June 12, 2011