You may have noticed that I've already written extensively about how much I enjoyed experiencing "Grey Gardens: The Musical" at Playwright Horizons back on February 18th of this year. I was very disappointed when the show's run ended, because I wanted desperately to see it again. I tried to get tickets, but even though the show had been extended a few times, it kept selling out and I just wasn't able to get decent tickets for any times that I might be available. And hopes for the show to be moved to a permanent home on Broadway were quickly dashed because the New York theater scene has been doing so well that there weren't any available houses to take the Beales in.
Needless to say, but here I am saying it anyway, I was thrilled to learn that the show is indeed going to be starting a Broadway run on November 2nd at the Walter Kerr Theatre, where I'd seen "Take Me Out" a couple times back in 2003. Previews start on October 3rd and I've got two tickets (I'm taking my own Big Edie, my mother, to see it) for November 4th and can't wait. I've been listening to the Off-Broadway cast recording every day since it arrived last week. Sometimes twice a day. Okay, usually twice a day. I can't help myself. It's the music and I'm it's hapless victim! (That's a lyric from one of the songs. See, I'm obsessed.)
What is it about the documentary film and this musical? I think that with the film I was captivated because it seemed to be what you'd get if John Waters directed a film inspired by the works of playwright Tennessee Williams. And with the musical I love how the first act, set in 1941, seems like vintage Cole Porter, while the second act, set in 1973, seems like what Cole Porter would have come up with if he had been inspired by Tennessee Williams.
I'm also fascinated by the elements of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Sunset Blvd., without the really dark and sinister aspects, in which you have these women who clearly don't see themselves as others see them. They had once lived the high life, yet they don't seem to realize how far they've fallen.
I'll be bringing my copy of the documentary on DVD to Connecticut next month, when I'm up there for my cousin's wedding, so my mother can get to know the real Edies, that way she'll be able to realize just how much of a revelation Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson's performances are. Even if she doesn't care for the documentary (I think she might find it too depressing), I know that she will LOVE the musical.