Grey Gardens Will Get World Premiere Recording — and One More Week to Bloom

News   Grey Gardens Will Get World Premiere Recording — and One More Week to Bloom Musical theatre and movie buffs who read about Grey Gardens, the musical, but couldn't snag a ticket to the sold-out Off-Broadway run have two more chances to experience the show.

Playwrights Horizons announced that one more week has been added to its current run, and promised it will be the world premiere's final extension. This third extension now takes the show to April 30.

Additionally, the lauded performances of Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson, and the rest of director Michael Greif's cast, will be preserved on a recording by PS Classics.

Inspired by the cult documentary film of the same name, the musical by librettist Doug Wright, composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie tells the story of Jacqueline Bouvier's aunt and cousin, Edith Beale and Edie Beale, as they face a new chapter in their wealthy lives in 1941, at their Long Island estate known as Grey Gardens (in Act One) and as they later wallow in the ruins of the manse in the 1970s (Act Two).

(Tony Award-winner Ebersole has been widely praised for her work here because in Act One she plays the wealthy 40ish matron Edith Beale, in a turn that suggests a leading lady right out a Kern operetta; by Act Two she is playing Edith's middle-aged, loopy daughter, Edie — a juicy character part that requires head and chest voice to conjure anguish, loss, sadness and madness. Observers were stunned that she wasn't recognized with a Lucille Lortel Award nomination earlier this month.)

The limited engagement was previously extended to April 23, which was the latest the musical could play due to the tech schedule for Playwrights Horizons' next production, Keith Bunin's The Busy World Is Hushed. " As luck would have it," according to PH, "Grey Gardens set designer Allen Moyer also designed the set for The Busy World Is Hushed, and together with Playwrights Horizons' in-house production team, was able to figure out a schedule that would allow the musical to play one additional and final week without delaying the schedule for the Bunin play."

PS Classics, the Grammy Award-nominated record label, previously preserved the Playwrights Horizons production of My Life With Albertine on a cast album.

The Grey Gardens cast and orchestra will go into a New York recording studio on April 27. A release date will be announced in the near future. For updates, visit www.psclassics.com.

The production opened at PH's Mainstage on West 42nd Street March 7 after previews from Feb. 10.

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Grey Gardens recently earned five Lucille Lortel Award nominations, including Best Musical. The work is also the winner of a 2006 Richard Rodgers Production Award, administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Musical staging is by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun (the recent Big River, Grease!).

According to PH, "Grey Gardens concerns the deliciously eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who were once among the brightest names in the pre-Camelot social register, and are now East Hampton's most notorious recluses, living in a dilapidated 28-room mansion. Facing an uncertain future, Edith Bouvier Beale and her adult daughter, 'Little' Edie, are forced to revisit their storied past and come to terms with it — for better, and for worse."

The cast also features Matt Cavenaugh, Sara Gettelfinger, Sarah Hyland, John McMartin, Michael Potts, Bob Stillman and Audrey Twitchell.

The production features scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Brian Ronan and projections by Wendall K. Harrington. Orchestrations are by Bruce Coughlin and Music director is Lawrence Yurman.

The performance schedule is Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2:30 PM and 8 PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. Tickets are $75.

For its final extension week (April 25-30), the musical will play a special 7-performance schedule: Tuesday through Wednesday and Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2:30 PM & 8 PM and Sunday at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. There will be no performance on April 27.

For ticket information, call (212) 279-4200, noon to 8 PM daily, or visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.