SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Mad Horse Theatre Company is thrilled to be producing its first musical in 17 years, as well as a Maine Premiere, and one of such depth and beauty.
“Grey Gardens” book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie, is a hilarious and poignant play based on the 1975 documentary of the same title, which was shot in 1973 by Albert and David Maysles.
The play, like the documentary, traces the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter , Edie Bouvier Beale(“Little Edie”).
The Beales were Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s aunt and cousin, respectively. Set at Grey Gardens, the Bouvier’s East Hampton, New York estate, the musical sensitively portrays with humor and heartbreak the strange journey of the two women from their original status as rich and socially polished aristocrats to their eventual reclusive existence in a home overrun by cats, raccoons, and squalor, and cited for repeated health code violations.
The play masterfully illuminates the complicated, dysfunctional relationship between mother and daughter, with Act One depicting Grey Gardens in its heyday, on the eve of Little Edie’s 1941 engagement to Joseph Kennedy, Jr., and Act Two revealing Grey Gardens 35 years later, entangled in overgrown hedges and virtually haunted with the ghosts of the women’s celebrated past.
States Artistic Director Christine Marshall in a press release: “Grey Gardens” is a rare musical, in that its non-musical elements — the script, the richness of the storyline — are as fully compelling as its gorgeous music. With its sharply-drawn characters, every element of the story both fascinates and surprises. It is a real jewel of a musical, and Mad Horse is terribly excited to be producing it here in Maine for the very first time.
Raymond Dumont is an incredibly accomplished veteran of Musical Theater, and as our Guest Director, he is a perfect captain to helm this ship. With years of experience both here in Maine as well as New York, he brings his passion to this play, a play he asked specifically to direct, based on his love of the material. We couldn’t be happier to have him, along with Music Director Rebekkah Willey, on board.”
“Grey Gardens” runs Thursday, May 29, through Sunday, June 22. Performance times are Thursday through Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. andSunday matinees at 2 p.m.
All performances are at the Mad Horse Theater in the Hutchins School, 24 Mosher St., South Portland.
Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for students and seniors. Group rates (10 or more patrons) are available. As always, Mad Horse offers Pay What You Can performances each Thursday during the run, as available at the door.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Purchase tickets online at www.madhorse.com or call 747-4148 for more information or for group rates.