Sadly, one of my favorite new Broadway shows will be closing prematurely on July 29th.
Grey Gardens is the musical that some really smart people based on the Maysles brother's documentary about Jackie O's aunt and cousin, big and little Edie Beale. Sadly, they just haven't been able to fill seats, in spite of the two big Tony wins.
This really saddens me, but maybe it's a good thing. Christine Ebersole who won a Tony for playing both big and little Edie through the course of the show, has got to be exhausted by now. She's been playing the part for two years or so, since before it was on Broadway.
Additionally, a short run of a fantastic show makes you feel like you were part of something really special if you got to see it, of course.
Whether or not the show could succeed on the road with two other actresses playing their parts is an entirely different issue. And probably the reason why the show didn't win a Tony. From all the people I've talked to over the last year, I heard that a big consideration for awarding a Tony to a show is whether or not the show can travel. By traveling, I mean whether or not the show will succeed when community theater groups or bigger venues in cities like in Missouri or Chicago try to stage the show. It was the general concensus of quite a few people that I've spoken with the show simply will not travel as well as something like Curtains or Spring Awakening (2007 winner for best show).
I loved Grey Gardens all 20 or so times I saw the show. And just thinking about it now for this brief moment, I've got three songs from the show bouncing around my brain, particularly the opening number of ACT II. And the beautiful duet at the end of ACT II.
The final duet with Ebersole and Wilson, for me, is alone worth the ticket price.
Please. I implore you. If you haven't seen Christine Ebersole and Mary Wilson's Tony award winning performances yet, GO SEE THEM. Nobody on Broadway can touch them in terms of performance, personal chemistry and emotional connection to the audience.
It's a beautiful show and it's a shame it has to come to an end.