PHOTO CALL: Soraya Ravenle and Suely Franco Star in Portuguese-Language Debut of Grey Gardens in Rio de Janeiro
By Matthew Blank
The Tony Award-nominated musical Grey Gardens, which transports audiences to the East Hampton residence of the Beale family – both in its heyday and in its decline – received its Portuguese-language premiere in a new production opening March 21 in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian musical star Soraya Ravenle portrays Big Edith Beale in the first act and takes on the role of the adult Little Edie in the second act. Suely Franco, a celebrated actress of Brazilian stage and theatre, portrays Big Edie in the second act. It marks a return to the musical stage for the veteran actress. Young actress Carol Puntel is cast as a hopeful Little Edie in the musical's first act.
The cast also features Guilherme Terra as Gould, Sandro Christopher as Major Bouvier, Pierre Baitelli as Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr., Jorge Maya as Brooks and Norman Vincent Peale, Danilo Timm as Jerry, Raquel Bonfante as Jaqueline Kennedy and Sofia Viamonte Lee Bouvier. Understudies are Mirna Rubi and Thuany Parente.
The production has scenic design by Bia Junqueira, costume design by Marta Reis, lighting by Luiz Paulo Nenen, choreography by Marcia Rubin, sound design by Gabriel D'Angelo and multimedia by Debora Bensusan e Tânia Grillo.
Grey Gardens has a Tony Award-nominated score by composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie, and a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright. Frankel and Korie are also collaborating on the new musicals Finding Neverland and Far From Heaven.
Based on the Maysles brothers 1975 cult documentary, Grey Gardens traces the lives of East Hampton socialites "Big" and "Little" Edie Beale, whose mother-daughter tug of war ultimately finds the eccentric and resilient duo residing in a dilapidated mansion overrun with cats and raccoons.
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