With musical direction (and orchestral reduction) by Doug Peck, the staging — extended by one week, due to demand, to Dec. 28 — features Sean Blake (as Brooks Sr., Brooks Jr.), George Keating (George Gould Strong), Chicago veteran Dennis Kelly (Major Bouvier, Norman Vincent Peale), Resnik (Edith, Act One; Little Edie, Act Two), Patrick Sarb (JP Kennedy, Jerry), Tempe Thomas (Little Edie, Act One) and Sarah Siddons Award winner and Jeff winner Ann Whitney (Edith Bouvier Beale, Act Two). Arielle Leigh Dayan, of Ravinia Elementary School in Highland Park, plays Lee Bouvier and Grace Etzkorn, a student at St. Joan of Arc in Lisle, is Jackie Bouvier.
Grey Gardens, with book by Doug Wright, lyrics by Michael Korie and music by Scott Frankel, is a rumination on the crash of the American Dream, inspired by the true-life story of the aunt and cousin of Jackie Onassis. Edith and Edie Beale were the subjects of the famous film documentary "Grey Gardens."
Opening is Nov. 20. Performances play Northlight's home at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, IL.
|photo by Michael Brosilow|
"This brand new musical comes to Chicago after its 2007 Tony Award-winning Broadway run, giving Northlight audiences the chance to rub elbows with Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter 'Little Edie,' Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' most scandalous relatives," according to the Chicago-area not-for-profit. "Once the highest of high society, the two have become East Hampton's most notorious recluses, living in a dilapidated 28-room mansion with 51 cats for company. Set in two eras — 1941 when the celebrated estate was the picture of wealth and sophistication, and 1973 after it had been reduced to squalor — Grey Gardens is a hilarious and heartbreaking look at two indomitable women." Choreography is by Marla Lampert. The designers are John Culbert (set), Jacqueline Firkins (costumes), JR Lederle (lights), Cecil Averett (sound) and Kate Brown (props). The jewelry designer is Ayla Phillips of Ayla's Originals in Evanston. The stage manager is Rita Vreeland. The assistant director is Brian LaDuca and the dramaturg is Meghan McCarthy. Jones is in his 11th year as artistic director of Northlight Theatre.
In its 34-year history, Northlight has mounted over 160 productions, including over 33 world premieres, and garnered 140 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 24 Awards.
Tickets for Grey Gardens range in price from $25-$59 and are available by phone, (847) 673-6300, or online at www.northlight.org.