Check out this review by Cassandra Sandros from BroadwayWorld.com:
The offbeat and somewhat perplexing musical Grey Gardensacts as a pseudo-documentary of the rise and fall of the reclusive mother/daughter duo of “Big” Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale. Aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the story follows their lives from high society to abject poverty, living in a decomposing mansion overrun with flea-infested cats.
Grey Gardens the Musical is based upon the 1976 documentary of the same name, by Albert and David Maysles. Footage from this documentary is played as a prologue, accompanied, ironically, by the song ‘The Girl Who Has Everything’.
This introduction transitions into the luxurious Grey Gardens mansion of 1941 on the eve of Little Edie’s engagement party, wherein the play takes on the camp qualities of other pre-World War II musicals. This portion of the show is the product of fantasy, as the writers imagined what it would have been like for the family at the peak of their fame. The songs are upbeat and Porter-esque and the Bouvier family is at the height of its influence and grandeur. Big Edie (Kathy Gibson) is portrayed as a self-involved socialite whose time is spent preparing musical works with her charming, ivory-tickling “soulmate”, George Gould Strong (Neil Trevisan), while Little Edie (Allyson Paris) longs for the freedom to pursue her own dreams of stage and screen. After expressing her sincere desire to have things remain the same and not to lose her daughter, Big Edie sabotages her daughter’s engagement to the White House-seeking Joe Kennedy and Act One draws to its conclusion as Little Edie makes her escape to New York City, leaving Big Edie to entertain the party guests (the audience) with the heart-breaking “Will You”.
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