Grey Gardens With Betty Buckley and Rachel York Is LA-Bound

News   Grey Gardens With Betty Buckley and Rachel York Is LA-Bound
Betty Buckley in <i>Grey Gardens</i>
Betty Buckley in Grey Gardens Lenny Stucker

Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, who drew raves for her performance this past summer in the Bay Street Theater's production of the award-winning musical Grey Gardens, will again step into the role of Big Edie when the musical plays Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre in summer 2016.

Buckley will again be joined by Tony nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Rachel York as Little Edie Bouvier Beale.

At Bay Street the two acclaimed actresses were joined by Howard McGillin, recently seen in the Broadway revival of Gigi, in the role of George Gould Strong. The cast also included Gracie Beardsley as Lee; Matt Doyle as Joe/Jerry; James Harkness as Brooks Sr./Brooks Jr.; Sarah Hunt as Young Edie; Simon Jones as Major/Peale; and Dakota Quackenbush as Jacqueline.

No other casting for the Los Angeles production has been confirmed at this time.

Center Theatre Group artistic director Michael Ritchie announced the news that Grey Gardens, again directed by Michael Wilson, will play the Ahmanson July 2-Aug. 14, 2016, with an official opening set for July 10.

The production replaces the previously announced Titanic The Musical in the Ahmanson’s 2015-16 season at the Los Angeles Music Center.

"Due to a change in the planning of the Titanic tour, the musical will no longer be presented in Los Angeles," Ritchie said in a statement. "But what a great chance for all of us to see the fascinating Grey Gardens. This is a classic piece of Americana that intrigues with a touching story of riches to rags that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. It is a pleasure to bring the legendary Betty Buckley and to welcome back Rachel York (Anything Goes) to Los Angeles in this lauded Bay Street Theater production."

The musical features music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and a book by Doug Wright.

Based on the 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysles, the musical, according to press notes, "tells the story of Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis. Set in 1941 and 1973 at the Bouvier mansion in East Hampton, this bold musical follows a mother and daughter on their hilarious and heartbreaking journey from glamorous aristocrats to notorious recluses in a crumbling house filled with memory and cats."

The Bay Street production team included Hope Clarke (choreography), Andy Einhorn (music director), Jeff Cowie (set design), Robert Wierzel (lighting design), Ilona Somogyi (costume design), Jon Weston (sound designer), Heather Urgina (props), Charles Swan (associate director/choreographer), Robert Bennett (production stage manager) and Denice Yaney (assistant stage manager). Casting was by Stewart/Whitley Casting.

Grey Gardens premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2006 and subsequently transferred to Broadway, where it ran for 307 performances at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Grey Gardens earned a Tony nomination for Best Musical and garnered Tony Awards for leads Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson, as well as for costume designer William Ivey Long.

Betty Buckley offered acclaimed performances in Broadway's Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776, Triumph of Love and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises, Dear World and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Her screen credits are numerous.

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