Baldwin and Lehr Lead Ordway/Park Square's 'GREY GARDENS' Beginning 3/17

Baldwin and Lehr Lead Ordway/Park Square's 'GREY GARDENS' Beginning 3/17Two of the Twin Cities' most accomplished actors, Wendy Lehr and Christina Baldwin, will play the indomitable mother and daughter, "Big" Edie and "Little" Edie, in the Park Square Theatre and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts co-production of Grey Gardens, opening March 25, 2009 (previews begin March 17). The show, by librettist Doug Wright, lyricist Michael Korie and composer Scott Frankel, earned widespread critical acclaim and three Tony® Awards during its nine-month run on Broadway.

Grey Gardens runs through May 17 in the Ordway's McKnight Theatre, 345 Washington St., Saint Paul.

Appearing together on stage for the first time, Lehr as Edith Bouvier Beale ("Big" Edie), and Baldwin as her adult daughter, "Little" Edie, bring to life the delightfully eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Once among the brightest names in the pre-Camelot social register, these two women became East Hampton's most notorious recluses, living in a dilapidated 28-room mansion. Set in two eras-1941, when the estate was in its prime, and 1973, when it was reduced to squalor-the musical tells their alternately hilarious and heartbreaking story.

James Rocco, the Ordway's Producing Artistic Director, and Jayme McDaniel, the Ordway's Associate Artistic Director, co-direct the production. Continuing Park Square's commitment to bring the very best local talent together to create memorable theater experiences, and the Ordway's ongoing investment in local artists, the Grey Gardens cast features Richard Ooms (Major Bouvier/Norman Vincent Peale), Zoe Pappas (Young "Little" Edie Beale), Reggie Phoenix (Brooks Jr. & Sr.), Kacie Riddle and Hayley Koop (alternating Lee Bouvier), and Addie Johansen (Jackie Bouvier). Also cast are Minnesota-native Joshua James Campbell (Joe Kennedy & Jerry, "the Marble Faun"), fresh off the first national tour of LEGALLY BLONDE-THE MUSICAL, and Michael Gruber (George Gould Strong) of Broadway fame.

"This has been a dream collaboration," says Richard Cook, Park Square's Artistic Director. "Our audiences come to our theaters insisting on top-notch talent and high-quality productions. We've combined the strengths of both organizations to create a truly amazing show that will knock their socks off!"

Rocco says, "We're taking a splashy Broadway musical and incorporating outstanding Minnesota talent and resources, including a set-build by Penumbra Theatre, in order to bring our audiences an experience they won't soon forget."

The production is designed by Kate Sutton-Johnson (scenic), Michael P. Kittel (lighting), Reid Rejsa (sound), Lyle Jackson & Ellen Roeder (costume) and Rick Polenek (properties). Jason Allyn-Schwerin is technical director. Dick and Nancy Nicholson serve as Grey Gardens executive producers.

Grey Gardens open Wednesday, March 25 at 8:00pm (previews begin with a 99¢ show on Sunday, March 15 at 7:00pm). Performances are Tuesdays through Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00pm; and Sundays at 2:00pm through May 17. All performances are in the Ordway's 300-seat McKnight Theatre, 345 Washington St., Saint Paul. Tickets are $38-45. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more.

Tickets are available at 651-224-4222 or online www.ordway.org

Grey Gardens opened on Broadway November 2, 2006, after a sold-out world premiere run in spring 2006 at Playwrights Horizons. Based on the 1975 film "Grey Gardens," the show was the first-ever musical made from a documentary. The show won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, a 2006 Richard Rodgers Production Award, the ASCAP Foundation's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, and The Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition. Composer Frankel calls Grey Gardens "uniquely American," with themes that explore "roads not taken, missed opportunities, love spiked with resentment, decay, reality vs. delusion, things that are not ‘black and white' but literally ‘grey.'"

 

Librettist Doug Wright is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife. Composer Scott Frankel is well known as the musical director for Falsettos and Into the Woods on Broadway, and lyricist Michael Korie wrote the libretto for both Harvey Milk and The Grapes of Wrath.

 

About the Collaborators

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts each year presents and produces award winning productions in its Theater Season; comprehensive, multicultural performing arts programs in its planet Ordway® Target® season; and serves approximately 50,000 children and adults in its Education at Ordway Center programs.

 

Park Square Theatre produces a wide-range of scripts, including new work from the adventurous stages of New York, London, and the regional theatre circuit. The theatre brings the top talent in the Twin Cities to the stage - from actors and directors who breaThe Life into compelling stories to designers who conjure unique worlds. Park Square also introduces live theater to nearly 25,000 teens annually through its ambitious education program.

 

 

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