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Maysles at Work on New Grey Gardens Documentary
Producers Kelly Gonda, Tracey Trench and Maysles Films announced today that legendary film-maker Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter) is now at work on a new documentary that returns him to the world of Grey Gardens.
The one-hour film (as yet untitled) will chronicle the journey from cult documentary to Broadway musical, exploring the original film, the just-opened musical adaptation and the continuing interest in their subjects, Edith Bouvier Beale and her adult daughter "Little" Edie. It will also bring the journey full circle as a documentary following the making of a musical that is based on a documentary. Grey Gardens is the first Broadway musical ever based on a documentary.
Directed by Maysles in his signature style, the new documentary will explore the making of the original film, the wildly diverse initial reactions to it, the cult audience that built around it, the actual house then and now and the creation of the musical from rehearsals to Opening Night. Maysles will be aided by a treasure trove of materials, including never-before-seen footage from the original film. He's also currently immersed in documenting the creation of the musical by being present each step of the way, and conducting all-new interviews with the musical's cast and creative team. Lora Nelson and Maureen Ryan will produce for Maysles Films,
as press materials state.
The original film Grey Gardens
is the voyeuristic, cult documentary by brothers Albert and David Maysles, who are long acknowledged as the godfathers of verite documentary filmmaking. The film tells the story of two endearing, eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and their everyday life as recluses in their decaying East Hampton mansion. The film premiered at the 1975 New York Film Festival and is now celebrating the 30th Anniversary of its initial theatrical release in 1976.
The musical Grey Gardens, starring Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole and Tony Award nominee Mary Louise Wilson as The Beales, was a sold out hit when it premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in February 2006. The musical won the 2006 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, a 2006 Richard Rodgers Production Award and was selected as one of the "Ten Best" of the year by The Best Plays Theater Annual. In addition, Ebersole swept the 2006 Spring Theater award season, winning every award possible: a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Obie Award, a special citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Drama League's 2006 Distinguished Performance of the Year Award.
The critical and popular success of the musical catapulted it to Broadway, where it just opened November 2, 2006 at The Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street). Kelly Gonda, one of the producers of the new documentary, is president of East of Doheny, which is the lead producer of the musical Grey Gardens.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film, the musical has been followed by the Maysles Brothers recently-released companion movie The Beales of Grey Gardens (featuring previously-unseen outtakes from the original documentary, now playing at art houses across the country and to be released on DVD on December 6), several upcoming books (including a collection of Edie's original writings), and a future Hollywood feature based on the documentary.
The original film is by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer and Susan Froemke-–a Maysles Brothers Films Inc. Production.
The musical Grey Gardens features a book by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife), music by Scott Frankel (whose passion for the documentary inspired him to option the rights from Maysles and assemble the team to adapt it) and lyrics by Michael Korie. The musical is directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent) and has musical staging by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun.
In addition to Ebersole and Wilson, the musical's cast includes five-time Tony Award nominee 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; Obie Award winner Michael Potts as Brooks Sr. and Brooks Jr.; and two-time Tony Award nominee Bob Stillman as George Gould Strong.
The Broadway production features 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, projections by Wendall K. Harrington and hair and wig design by Paul Huntley. Orchestrations are by Tony Award-winner Bruce Coughlin and music director is Lawrence Yurman.
Visit www.greygardensthemusical.com for more on Grey Gardens.