Grey Gardens: The Musical (review)

Grey Gardens: The Musical (review)
Grey Gardens: The Musical (review)
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THE PLAY: This musical is based on the astounding 70s documentary about a mother and daughter from an aristocratic America family who became eccentric recluses.

 

THE PRODUCTION: If you’re not familiar with the documentary (or even the HBO feature), these 2 women may stretch credulity, but they are indeed real. Susan Sanford plays Big Edie in Act One, then goes all out as the iconic Little Edie in Act Two. She takes full advantage of the opportunity to display her considerable dramatic, comic and singing skills. Overall, the first act feels cluttered with so many songs. so much activity and so much drama. Grey Garrett (as Little Edie) conveys the emotions that foreshadowed her future with her affecting “Daddy’s Girl.” Boomie Pedersen effectively portrays the flustered, older Big Edie in Act Two, but it’s Sandford’s droll portrayal of her daughter that makes the show fun. Director Deb Clinton does her best to tackle the narrative’s chaotic challenges with solid pacing and varied staging, while allowing the more dramatic moments their due. The 5-piece band under Kim Fox’s direction provides strong support and the technical elements are all fine without being exceptional. Running time: 2:30

 

THE POINT: The first act creates an emotionally-charged miasma of dysfunction that’s propelled to eccentric excess with Susan Sanford’s hilarious, spot-on creation of Little Edie.

 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

 

At Richmond Triangle Players thru 7/13

 

Boomie Pedersen & Susan Sanford (Photos by John MacLellan)

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