Grey Gardens, Starring Tony Nominee Patti Cohenour, Opens in Seattle March 21
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award nominee Patti Cohenour and Suzy Hunt star as the Beales of East Hampton in the A Contemporary Theatre-5th Avenue Theatre co-production of the Tony-nominated musical Grey Gardens, which officially opens in Seattle March 21 after previews that began March 16 in Seattle.
A.C.T. artistic director Kurt Beattie stages the intimate musical based on the Maysles brothers 1975 documentary film that will play a five-performance extension through June 2.
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.
Cohenour (Drood, The Light in the Piazza, Phantom of the Opera) takes on the dual duty of portraying Edith Bouvier Beale in the 1940s-set first act, prior to donning the signature cape, skirt and turban to play Little Edie in the musical's second act, which takes place in the mid-1970s. Seattle stage veteran Hunt plays Big Edie Bouvier Beale in the second act.
The cast also features Jessica Skerritt as Little Edie Beale (in Act One), Mark Anders as George Gould Strong, Allen Fitzpatrick at Major Bouvier Beale, Matt Owen as Joe Kennedy and Jerry, Ekello J. Harrid as Brooks, Montserrat Fleck as Lee Bouvier and Analiese Ermerson Guettinger as Jackie Bouvier.
The Seattle production has musical direction by Chris DeStefano, musical staging by Noah Racey, scenic design by Matthew Smucker, costume design by Catherine Hunt, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger and sound design by Brendan Patrick Hogan.
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.
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.
For tickets, visit acttheatre.org. A.C.T. is located at 700 Union Street in Seattle.
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