Loyal readers of this blog, please like us on Google+ and Facebook. This raccoon appreciates your support!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
The creative people at freeFall Theatre will not only be putting on a production of Grey Gardens this fall, but they also created a video to promote it!
From freeFall Theatre
book by Doug Wright
music by Scott Frankel
lyrics by Michael Korie
September 15 – October 2, 2011
In 1941 Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”) were the toast of East Hampton society. The aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier (who would later become Jackie Kennedy) played hostess at their palatial mansion, Grey Gardens. How the two ended up living in squalor with numerous cats and raccoons in the neglected home became very public in 1971 through a series of tabloid articles, and later became the subject of a documentary film by Albert and David Maysles. This hauntingly original musical based on speculation of their heyday and the 1975 documentary will transport you to the lap of American royalty and their subsequent fall from grace. Nominated for 10 Tony awards in 2007, this critically-acclaimed modern masterpiece of musical theatre explores the comically dark side of a mother-daughter relationship gone horribly awry.
Grey Gardens Trailer
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It is yet-to-be-released, but it sounds like it could be an interesting read!
BFI Film Classics: Grey Gardens
by Matthew Tinkcom
The Maysles brothers' Grey Gardens (1975) is one of the most important documentary films of the past thirty years. In the past decade the film has gained the status of cult classic, inspiring both a Broadway musical and a 2009 HBO feature film. In this first single volume study of the film, Matthew Tinkcom argues that Grey Gardens reshaped documentary cinema by moving the non-fiction camera to the heart of the household, a private space into which film-makers had seldom previously ventured.
Already well-established figures in the 'direct cinema' movement of the 1960s (with their previous films, including Salesman and Gimme Shelter), the brothers' visual record of a summer spent in the Beale household demonstrated that the private lives of their subjects were rich materials for the camera. By the time the film-makers appeared on their front porch, the film's two central figures, 'Big Edie' Beale and her daughter 'Little Edie', had been living for two decades in near-poverty in their beach-side East Hampton mansion (the 'Grey Gardens' of the title). Close relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, by the early 1970s the Beales had lost much of their personal wealth and their everyday lives had descended into a state of barely-controlled squalor. However, as the film-makers discovered, the women were hardly victims of their poverty; rather they saw themselves as artists who were willing to make seemingly any sacrifice for their singing and dancing talents. When the Edies perform for the camera, audiences are challenged by the question of how much anyone would be willing to give up in order to lead a life of eccentric pleasure. Tinkcom argues that the film is one of the first to combine documentary with the conventions of fiction film melodrama, and that the film's appeal arrives in the rich melodramatic dimensions of the Beales' everyday lives in which they argue, dress up, flirt, laugh, sing, dance and reminisce about their experiences in New York's social elite in the first half of the twentieth century.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Those of you with the book Grey Gardens by Sara and Rebekah Maysles already have these MP3s, as they were included on a CD in the book. If you don't have them, though, all 21 tracks are now available on Amazon.
You can download the entire album or select individual tracks below.
Soundtrack to Grey Gardens
- You Must Always Make a Beautiful Picture – Albert Maysles, Edith Bouver Beale, David Maysles, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (1:14)
- The Highest Palate in America – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Edith Bouver Beale (2:54)
- Toujours L'Amor and Iris – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouver Beale, David Maysles (5:20)
- Drove East Hampton Crazy – Edith Bouver Beale (0:39)
- Lois and the Raccons – Lois Wright, Edith Bouver Beale, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (6:15)
- Connais-tu le Pays – Edith Bouver Beale, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (2:17)
- Quite a Pair – Edith Bouver Beale, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, David Maysles, Albert Maysles (5:46)
- These Lights of the Maysles – Edith Bouver Beale, David Maysles (13:57)
- Posed for Hours – Edith Bouver Beale, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (1:53)
- That Beach Belongs to Me – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouver Beale, Lois Wright, David Maysles, Jerry Torre (2:18)
- Jerry and Mother – Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Edith Bouver Beale, Jerry Torre (5:41)
- The Lavatory Light – Edith Bouver Beale, Jerry Torre (0:33)
- Tomorrow Is a Promissory Note – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (0:29)
- God Live in Africa – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouver Beale (1:14)
- Shroud Your Mind in Cerise – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouver Beale, Albert Maysles, David Maysles (4:38)
- A Girl Named Edith – Edith Bouver Beale, Albert Maysles, David Maysles (0:45)
- Come Dance With Me – Edith Bouver Beale, David Maysles, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Albert Maysles (4:32)
- There Will Always Be Drama Left Here – Edith Bouver Beale, Albert Maysles, David Maysles (0:52)
- Why Did You Make the Film? – David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Edith Bouver Beale, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (10:11)
- Watching Grey Gardens – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouver Beale (0:47)
- After Watching Grey Gardens – Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouver Beale, David Maysles, Brooks Hires, Albert Maysles, Lois Wright (2:58)
Friday, July 01, 2011
It opens tonight, in just two hours, and it runs through the month. Enjoy!
From Patch, by Anthony Stoeckert, on June 28, 2011
'Grey Gardens' Grows into a Complex Musical
Chester Theatre Group presents a musical about two reclusive relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy.
Recluses who live in a dilapidated house and suffer from mental illness aren’t the stuff of which musicals are often made.
So you might think “Grey Gardens,” which is being presented by the Chester Theatre Group, is some sort of dreary affair. But one of the show’s directors says that’s not the case.
The musical, running at the Black River Playhouse from July 1 through July 24, is based on the 1975 documentary about a mother and daughter, both named Edith Beale. The older Edith (full name, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale) was an aunt to Jacqueline Kennedy. The two women were both members of high society and ended up living in a rundown mansion in the Hamptons.
It doesn’t exactly sound like a toe-tapper, but Jeffrey Fiorello, who’s co-directing the show, said “Grey Gardens” actually has a good bit of levity to it. That’s especially true of Act 1, which recreates the lives of the two Ediths during their salad days when they were happy and living well.
“Act 1 is treated very much like a traditional musical, there are happy songs, serious songs and some ballads,” Fiorello said. “It plays very much like an old-fashioned musical. Whereas act 2 is quite different and delves into the two women’s psyche and quite a bit more.”
Fiorello said the first act is a fictionalized account of the Beales’ lives in the 1940s. The second is set in the 1970s, when they become shut-ins, and is pretty faithful to the movie of the same name (there's also a 2009 update), Fiorello said.
In casting the show, Chester Theatre Group followed the model used on Broadway by having the same actress play Edith in the first act and “Little Edie” in the second act. Christine Ebersole won a Tony for pulling the double duty on Broadway, and Barbara Haag will play the two roles in this production. Barbi McGuire plays the older Edith in the second act, and Sandy Taylor plays young “Little Edie” in the first act. The cast also includes Robert Jacobson, Alistair Williams, Thomas Cioppettini and Hannah Curtis as Jacqueline Bouvier.
Fiorello is co-directing “Grey Gardens” with Mark Happel, who’s also a board member at Chester Theatre Group. The two-director format came along because of both directors’ schedules.
“I’ve directed a couple of pieces for them and Mark has as well,” Fiorello said. “We’ve collaborated creatively on shows but we’ve never worked together as co-directors. Mark loves this show, possibly more than me, and when we were looking at doing it, everyone kind of assumed Mark would be directing it. Mark felt he was going to be a little too busy at this point of the year to take on the whole project by himself.”
The two-director format works, according to Fiorello, because the two acts are so different in tone. While both directors share input on both acts, Fiorello is predominantly responsible for the first act, and Happel is more involved in the second.
“We both chime in and make sure the show has a similar feel and that there’s continuity from act to act,” he said. “Mark and I are collaborating considerably on each other’s acts but there’s one point person for the cast to ask questions [for each act]. It’s worked quite well.”
Fiorello saw the show during its original off-Broadway run and again when it moved to Broadway. While he liked both versions, he said he preferred the intimacy offered by a smaller venue, making it a good fit for the 100-seat Black River Playhouse.
“You’re drawn in a little closer when you are as close in proximity as you are in Chester,” he said. “You feel almost like you’re sitting in their living room or sitting in the bedroom with them because at times you feel like you can reach out and touch the performers. It draws you into a piece that does have a lot of subtlety and a lot of nuance.”
Venue size can even affect the performances, he said, because audiences are more likely to notice details when they’re closer to the actors in a smaller setting.
“It’s almost cinematic in a sense, in that you see the actors’ smallest gestures, whereas that would be lost on a large proscenium stage on Broadway unless you were sitting really close,” he said.
He started working at Chester about seven years ago, acting in a production of “A Man of No Importance.” Fiorello said the theater is a special place and that the group distinguished itself by presenting shows that aren’t often done.
“It’s magical, the things that happen in that space,” he said. “They really do take care in producing their shows and making sure everything’s done in the right way.”
Chester Theatre Group will present “Grey Gardens” at the Black River Playhouse at the corner of Grove and Maple streets in Chester, July 1 through 24. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $24, or $22 for students. For information, call (908) 879-7304 or go to ChesterTheatreGroup.org.