Ebersole's "Edies" Will Play London; Grey Gardens U.S. Tour Also in the Works

News   Ebersole's "Edies" Will Play London; Grey Gardens U.S. Tour Also in the Works The producers of the new Broadway musical Grey Gardens announced May 16, the day after the show was nominated for ten 2007 Tony Awards, that the production will have its London debut next season with its acclaimed leading lady, Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole, re-creating her performance.

Christine Ebersole will take Grey Gardens to the West End.
Christine Ebersole will take Grey Gardens to the West End. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Broadway producers — East of Doheny, Staunch Entertainment, Randall L. Wreghitt/Mort Swinky, Michael Alden and Edwin W. Schloss in association with Playwrights Horizons — will team with London producers to present the show in its U.K. bow during the 2007-2008 season. London partners, dates and additional casting will be officially announced in the coming months.

The 2007 Best Musical Tony nominee will also be seen in a North American tour in the future, the producers announced.

A casting search has already begun to find other stars to play the leading dual role of Edith Bouvier Beale/"Little" Edie Beale. Ebersole's year-long contract with the Broadway production will end in October 2007, and her Broadway replacement is now being sought. It hasn't been determined if Ebersole will be playing any U.S. markets.

"Everyone in the Grey Gardens family is excited to bring the Beales to cities across the country and — as Edie herself sings — 'Around the World,'" stated Kelly Gonda, president of East of Doheny, the lead producer of the musical. "The story of these incredible women is universal, as is the primal mother-daughter and parent-child relationship. We've been heartened by the amazing reviews the show has received from critics in London and across the U.S., and we're absolutely thrilled that Christine Ebersole's glorious performance will be seen in new cities with other Edies to follow in her footsteps."

Following a sold-out world premiere in spring 2006 at Playwrights Horizons, Grey Gardens — by librettist Doug Wright, lyricist Michael Korie and composer Scott Frankel — opened on Broadway Nov. 2, 2006, at The Walter Kerr Theatre. Based on the 1975 documentary "Grey Gardens" (by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer & Susan Froemke – a Maysles Brothers Films Inc. Production), the show explores the broken dreams of socialite mother and daughter Edith and daughter Edie Beale, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier. Michael Greif directs a cast that includes Ebersole in the dual role of Edith (circa 1940 in Act One) and daughter Edie (circa 1973 in Act Two), Tony nominee Mary Louise Wilson (as aging Edith in Act Two), plus John McMartin as both "Major" Bouvier and Norman Vincent Peale; Matt Cavenaugh as both Joe Kennedy, Jr. and Jerry; Erin Davie as Young "Little" Edie Beale; Kelsey Fowler as Lee Bouvier; Sarah Hyland as Jacqueline Bouvier; Michael Potts as Brooks Sr. and Brooks Jr.; and Bob Stillman as Gould.

Here's how the producers tout Grey Gardens: "Not since Mama Rose and Gypsy has there been a mother/daughter act as hilarious, as heartbreaking and as utterly unforgettable as Edith and Edie Beale — Jackie Kennedy's most outrageous relatives — in Broadway's acclaimed musical smash Grey Gardens. From the grandeur of an East Hampton high society party in 1941 to the sensational tabloid headlines that rocked the Kennedy clan in 1973, Grey Gardens is scandalously entertaining. This witty and passionate ride features Christine Ebersole's already-legendary performance and breaks new ground as the first musical ever based on a documentary. Step into the world of Grey Gardens and see the other side of Camelot."

The production has been nominated for 2007 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Christine Ebersole), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Mary Louise Wilson), Best Book of a Musical (author Doug Wright), Best Original Score (composer Scott Frankel & lyricist Michael Korie), Best Director of a Musical (Michael Greif), Best Scenic Design (Allen Moyer), Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long), Best Lighting Design (Peter Kaczorowski) and Best Orchestrations (Bruce Coughlin).

In addition to the awards bestowed on Christine Ebersole last season, the musical's many honors over the past year include: the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical; both a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance and the Actors Equity Foundation's Richard Seff Award to Mary Louise Wilson for her performance; a 2006 Richard Rodgers Production Award, administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters; being named one of ten best in "Best Plays" for the 2005-2006 season (the only musical cited); the ASCAP Foundation's Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award for composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie; The Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition for Frankel; and an Obie Award for set designer Allen Moyer.

The Broadway cast recording, produced by multiple Grammy Award winner Steven Epstein (The Light in the Piazza), was recently released on PS Classics.

Tickets are available by going online to www.telecharge.com, calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting The Walter Kerr Theatre box office (219 West 48th Street). Balcony seats are only available in person at the box office.

Visit www.greygardensthemusical.com.

Christine Ebersole and cast
Christine Ebersole and cast Joan Marcus