Grey Gardens

Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 09:54am
Hey everyone! I've just recently got into the Grey Garden's cast recording (I won it a long time back, but never really listened to more than a few numbers) and am really enjoying it! I was curious to know, what do people on here think of the show?
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:18am
The show is very good, but Act I is just a prelude to the real show. I do love the score.


A great deal of Act II is right from the documentary, and the Beales are absolutely fascinating (non-fiction) characters.

But really the whole thing rests on the actresses playing the Edies in Act II.

Ebersole's performance remains on of the best turns I've ever seen. She nails it, not just the mannerisms and speech patterns, but the inner life of Little Edie. A marvel.

When she sings Another Winter In A Summer Town you feel the deep, aching sadness just beneath the surface.

Btw, which recording do you have? I prefer the Off Bway.
....but the world goes 'round
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 10:18 AM
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:19am
Wonderful. Haunting. Moving.
#sadandtransparent
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:21am
Only ever saw the documentary but I must say this about the person playing Little Edie...

"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:26am
Thanks everyone! And it was Jinkx Monsoon who actually inspired me to dig out the cast recording and take another listen!
GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:39am
It is brilliant. And not hard to find online.
I leave the room smiling.
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:43am
One of my all-time favorites. Haunting story, great music, and the most literate lyrics this side of Sondheim.
GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:44am
^ I always say that outside of Sondheim The Five Fifteen has the best lyrics I've ever heard.
I leave the room smiling.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 10:52am
Loved the show. Loved the OBC. One of my favorite nights of theatre.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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behindthescenes2
Stand-by
joined:7/30/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 11:29am
During the run of this show, the street should have been renamed Ebersole Way. She was so amazing to watch, I saw it twice and the second time was just to confirm that I truly witnessed a miracle on stage.
doodlenyc
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 11:43am
Wonderful show, though a bit flawed. Ebersole was stunning in a very difficult dual role, and the end of "Another Winter..." was one of the most thrilling moments I've experienced in the theater. Wilson was, of course, marvelous as well.

I only saw it on bway, but also prefer the off-bway recording. I like the opening and ending better and also prefer Gettelfinger's vocals, especially her accent.
"Carson has combined his passion for helping children with his love for one of Cincinnati's favorite past times - cornhole - to create a unique and exciting event perfect for a corporate outing, entertaining clients or family fun."

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Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 12:28pm
I was lucky enough to be seated fourth row center for the Broadway show. I can't describe the thrill of watching Ebersole in that role. The entire production was great, and the cast recording is one of the only ones I like to play.

I saw the original documentary, the show, and the tv movie. Loved all of them, but enjoyed the tv movie because it was the only version to give somewhat of an idea how these women went from A to Z!
<-----craves juicy pizza
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 01:28pm
I liked it quite a lot, but was less enamored with it than many posters on here. I applaud its ambition (it is certainly one of the more ambitious musicals in recent years) and its unique vision, but I do think it has its flaws. Luckily, though, those flaws were minimized thanks to the astounding lead performance from Christine Ebersole. Her performance (along with Pinkins in CAROLINE) is forever etched in my mind as quite possibly the greatest musical theater performance I have ever seen. She was absolutely brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

I actually like the first act more than most. Sure, the second is much stronger and more entertaining, but I thought the first act had some stunningly beautiful moments. I don't know if I will ever be able to shake the chills I got watching Ebersole interpret songs like "Will You?" and "Another Winter in a Summer Town." She was magnificent and well worth the price of admission alone.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 01:28 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 05:14pm
I only know the show from the OBC recording and a bootleg tape, but GREY GARDENS is one of the few musicals of this century that really caught my interest (meaning I played the CD over and over obsessively for weeks at a time).

tazber, I don't blame you for preferring the second act, but most of the action takes place in the first. The second act is about being frozen by the past and the resulting inability to act. A risky dramaturgical strategy and just one of the reasons the show amazes me.
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 05:17pm
The final ten minutes of the show were some of the most chilling that I have ever experienced in a theater. I remember feeling drained and almost unable to move when the show ended. It really had an impact on me. Sitting front row center surely helped.
#sadandtransparent
John Adams
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/13
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 05:38pm
I feel the same as I do about Hands On A Hardbody.

The appeal in both documentaries (for me) was "the reality" of their characters. Specificly, with "Grey Gardens", there was a sense of "You can't write these characters -- nobody would believe it!" Documenting the "reality" of these specific, real people was what was interesting and captivating.

Additionally, in both documentaries, the "story" took a back seat to its characters. The more interesting element was that these characters were real (and in the case of 'Grey Gardens' - nearly unbelievably real) people.

When you remove that "truth" element, it's like making a recording of a recording; there's a noticeable "generation loss". A layer has tangibly gone missing.

The musical Working was a much better fit to musicalize because although it was documentary-like, it was a collection of Terkel's written stories. We didn't connect so much with specific people as much as we did with anonymous, relateable tales. Putting those stories onstage added the layer of connection to "real" people.

_________________

EDIT: To my mind, the success of Grey Gardens lies in how well the two lead actresses can specifically re-conjure those characters as they appeared in the documentary. It's similar to how I can appreciate a good impressionist. The beauty of the craft is in the execution of its details.

That also explains (for me) why ACT II is more interesting than ACT I.

I don't find the score all that interesting. They've basically musicalized the more interesting monologues (and that's a poor choice of words because 'monologue' implies 'fiction') from the documentary. Not such a great accomplishment to my mind.
...because Broadway Cares
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 05:38 PM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 05:48pm
I only saw it on bway, but also prefer the off-bway recording. I like the opening and ending better and also prefer Gettelfinger's vocals, especially her accent.

I agree with all of that, doodle.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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logan2
Featured Actor
joined:6/15/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 06:15pm
I prefer the obc cast recording to the broadway cast recording. The new cast recording took out Toyland, Body Beautiful Beale, Better Fall Out of Love, Being Bouvier and changed the ending from the reprise of Peas in a Pod. All mistakes in my book.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 08:16pm
John, with respect, Studs Terkel was an oral historian. The monologues of WORKING aren't "written stories", per se, but oral testimonies from real people, admittedly edited by Terkel to give them a clearer structure. (Which makes them "stories" of a sort, but then that's true of all history, including LINCOLN and GREY GARDENS.)
John Adams
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/13
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/15/13 at 08:57pm
"John, with respect, Studs Terkel was an oral historian. The monologues of WORKING aren't "written stories", per se, but oral testimonies from real people..."

"HELLO, Dolly..."
That's my point.






...because Broadway Cares
Updated On: 5/15/13 at 08:57 PM
redmustang
Broadway Star
joined:5/14/03
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/17/13 at 12:19am
When she heard I was going to NY, a friend at work asked was I seeing GG. I said What is it? She explained the premise and I had vaguely remembered something about Jackie's relatives trying to be forced out of their house. GG was the last show I saw that trip. Totally blew me away, Ebersole was stunning. I was an emotional mess at the end. Months later I bought the DVD documentaries and was stunned by how much the two actresses in Act 2 captured those two fascinating women. Have re-watched the DVDs many times since, and it's almost like watching Act 2 all over.
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/17/13 at 03:37pm
It was a seminal event in my theatergoing life.
John Adams
Broadway Star
joined:4/1/13
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/17/13 at 04:21pm
If I had my 'druthers, I'd like to see a musical of A Confederacy of Dunces.

The movie version has never seemed to get off the ground in spite of an apparent appeal to make it, so a musical version wouldn't be subject to comparison.

The characters and their behaviors have a similar "eccentric" appeal like the women of Grey Gardens. I think a score built on musical styles from the French Quarter could be very interesting, too.
...because Broadway Cares
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/17/13 at 06:23pm
I saw the show about 9 times. From the Norman Vincent Peale radio sermon to the end would just sweep out of the theatre and into a very wonderful moving emotional space.
Heck, perhaps it was even from "Entering Grey Gardens". Yes the show had some flaws, but it was wonderfuly moving.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/17/13 at 06:43pm
"HELLO, Dolly..."
That's my point.


Sorry to be dense, John. Was your point, then, that Terkel had already given the narratives shape when he published them? Or was it that Terkel's subjects were anonymous while many people knew the Eadies from the docs? Both?

(I'm merely curious as to your view. I assume we have already agreed to disagree about the show's overall impact. For the record, I somehow managed to miss even hearing about the Beales until the musical opened.)
gossipguy215
Stand-by
joined:3/2/13
Grey Gardens
Posted: 5/18/13 at 12:57am
I love both recordings. That said, I like the cut songs from the first act a lot more than the ones they were replaced with (with the exception of "The Girl Who Has Everything"). On the Broadway Recording, the only songs I ever listen to from Act I are "The Girl Who Has Everything", "Peas in a Pod", and "Will You?". Act II is THE most brilliant show from this century, one that I will actually equate to "Follies" and "Company". "Around the World" and "Another Winter in a Summer Town" are the most beautiful songs, written as if from the The Golden Age. "Jerry Likes My Corn" always moves me, but I can only listen to it if I'm ready to be morose for the next couple of hours. Although "Toyland" was beautiful, and "Peas in a Pod (Reprise)" made a great ending, I think "The Girl Who Has Everything" was better to begin and end the show with, especially since they "bookend" the show. And every time I reach the end, my heart is moved by Big Edie's final line "YOU choose." Then, as the orchestra takes over for the record and the final notes play, I can FEEL Little Edie's gratitude and Big Edie's relief to know she isn't left alone (it takes on a whole new meaning when you think about how Big Edie died, leaving Little Edie all alone).

Updated On: 5/18/13 at 12:57 AM

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