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Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Grey Gardens!

Posted by on March 8 at 17:42 PM

So the musical version of the Maysles Brothers doc Grey Gardens has finally opened in New York, and the reviews are coming in. Here’s Ben Brantley, who starts out his review with the most annoyingly gratuitous Oscar reference ever:

Resurrecting that strange socialite-in-limbo known as “Little” Edie Beale in “Grey Gardens,” the irritatingly mixed blessing of a musical that opened last night at Playwrights Horizons, Christine Ebersole easily matches the achievements of this year’s newly anointed Oscar winners Philip Seymour Hoffman (who played Truman Capote in “Capote”) and Reese Witherspoon (June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line”).

Like Mr. Hoffman and Ms. Witherspoon, Ms. Ebersole embodies a once living figure of, shall we say, distinctive style with a radiant conviction and finesse that turn surface mimicry into fine-grained portraiture

Anyway, he doesn’t like the play, but check out his reasons for dismissal: “Ms. Ebersole’s Edie, it must be noted, is a pearl of incalculable price in a show that is, at best, costume jewelry. Adapted by Doug Wright (book), Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics), “Grey Gardens” tilts perilously toward cheap celebrity camp.”

Cheap celebrity camp? Where? Sign me up! Who’s getting the rights in Seattle? Ian Bell, I think somebody’s caaalling yooouu!

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Have you seen the original documentary? It's a fascinating, tragic but weird freakshow that goes far beyond camp. Maybe that's why Whatsit doesn't like the musical. Seriously weird, creeps going up and down your spine weird, like "I shouldn't be watching this" weird. One of my favorites. I dunno if I'd be all that interested in a camp musical version.

That movie singlehandedly forced me to get over any and all fears regarding:
- Moving out on my own without a lover.
- Abandoning 14 years of Catholic school.
- Tackling any large home improvement project.
Frankly, I have yet to owe any other film so much. There have been several benchmark occasions in my life when making a decision has included the thought, "You better not fuck this up Susan Mary! (I always use my Christian name when I'm being stern with myself) If you aren't careful you could end up living at Grey Gardens!" After I finish shuddering at the thought, I ususally do the right thing. Spike Lee got nothin on this flick!

That's so weird, because when I'm stern with MYself I say "you better not fuck this up, Susan Mary", and that's not even my name.

did you see the slideshow that was part of the nytimes review? she does look exactly like her, head "scarves" and all. tres creepy... in a good way... was just in nyc and wish I would have seen it.

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