A spokesperson for the musical confirmed that the hit musical — starring Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole in dual roles — will officially open Nov. 2.
Following a sold-out spring run at Playwrights Horizons, East of Doheny (Kelly Gonda, Founder and President; Beth Williams, Executive Producer), in association with Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director), will present the musical on Broadway.
The only announced stars are Ebersole and Mary-Louise Wilson, who thrilled critics with their deeply-felt impersonations of Long Island socialite Edith Bouvier Beale. Ebersole played her at 40-ish in Act One, set in the 1941, and Wilson played her in withered old-age in Act Two, set in 1973.
Ebserole earned raves from critics — and a basket of nominations and awards — for playing Edith's mentally-addled grown daughter, Little Edie, in Act Two. Already awarded and praised for her turn(s), it would seem that the 2007 Tony Award — a year from now — might easily find its way to her mantle.
The musical by Doug Wright (book), Michael Korie (lyrics) and Scott Frankel (music) is inspired by the 1975 film documentary of the same name, which charted the broken women's lives as they clattered around the shambles of a mansion that had once seen grand parties. Theatre critics agreed that the actresses seemed to be channeling the indelible film images of the late ladies — with the help, of course, of costume designer William Ivey Long and wig designer Paul Huntley. The fact that Ebserole and Wilson are the only announced cast members suggests that some re-casting may be expected.
Sara Gettelfinger and John McMartin had choice parts in the musical, respectively playing Edith's daughter, Edie, in Act One, and Edith's father, Maj. Bouvier.
Here's how the producers characterize the show: "Grey Gardens concerns both the deliciously eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who were once among the brightest names in the pre-Camelot social register, but became East Hampton's most notorious recluses, living in a dilapidated 28-room mansion. Set in two eras — in 1941 when the estate was in its prime and in 1973 when it was reduced to squalor — the musical tells the alternatively hilarious and heartbreaking story of two indomitable individuals, Edith Bouvier Beale and her adult daughter 'Little' Edie."
The Broadway production of Grey Gardens will reunite the original creative and design team, featuring scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by five-time Tony Award winner 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 Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin and music director is Lawrence Yurman.
The world premiere Playwrights Horizons production was extended three times. It was originally slated for Feb. 10-March 26, but lasted to April 30. (It had to make room for PH's next production in the season.)
The score was recorded by PS Classics. The world premiere recording features the entire original Off-Broadway cast and will be released Aug. 22. For future updates, visit www.psclassics.com.
Complete casting, performance schedule and ticket information for Grey Gardens — including on sale dates for tickets — will be announced in the coming weeks.
The future web address for the musical will be www.greygardensthemusical.com.