Sunday, March 25, 2007

Grey Gardens: The Musical - Review - Oh Those Crazy Ladies

Grey Gardens - Walter Kerr Theater, New York City

Okay, it's a musical, it's about people surrounding the Kennedy's, it's about rich people who go poor and crazy, and it's got Christine Ebersole. No wonder it screams to the gay crowd. It's based on the cult documentary of the same name about Edith and Little Edie Bouvier Beale who basically lived their later life in squalor in the run down Grey Gardens estate, letting cats and racoons overrun the place.

So I finally managed to see Grey Gardens, yet, with so much potential, I didn't love it. I so wanted to but I just didn't. The first act practically bored me to tears even with all the Kennedy references and even a little Jackie Bouvier (I think I'm just used to modern staging now like Spring Awakening or Company and the traditional 3 wall set with couches is kinda boring to me even though I swear I'm not a musical modernist snob), and while the second act (when we finally get to the decrepit Grey Gardens, and the Bouvier Beales are crazy) was so much better and refreshing, I still don't think it was enough to save the entire show, and I wasn't as emotionally wrought over as I was told I would.

Case of the overly high expectations I guess. It's now the second show this year that was did quite well critically and garnered a good cult following yet I could appreciate but just didn't love (as I also did with Caroline, Or Change)

Still, the praise for Christine Ebersole is highly deserved, particularly in the second act. Kudos also to Matt Cavanaugh for defying his hotty status (and surviving the debacle of Urban Cowboy The Musical) and pulling a convincing Joe Kennedy and then switching a 180 over to stoner Jerry.

Best Musical though I'm not so sure, and I'm not sure how Time Magazine named it best musical of the year. It'll probably end up middle of the pack in my rankings of all the musicals I've seen.

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