Performance: Gray Gardens
Theater: Studio Theatre. 1501 14th St, NW
Metro: Dupont Circle – Red line or U Street/Cardozo-Green line
Genre: MusicalCost: Starting at $44 with the student discount. They also have half price rush tickets 30 min before the show or you can usher (more here)
Dates: Through January 4
Rating: 2.5 Starving Artists (out of 5)
Gray Gardens is an interesting show. It’s a musical, based on the 1975 documentary of the same name, about an aging mother and her daughter, once American aristocracy, who live together in a ramshackle house in the Hamptons with dozens of cats, countless fleas, and a few raccoons. Edith and Edie Bouiver Beals are two… unique… women. At 79 and 56, they talk, not so much too each other, as near each other. The play tells the story of how this expansive estate(from which the play gets its name) went from being the summer retreat of Rockefellers and Kennedys to being the eyesore and health hazard that housed these two recursive women.
Now you may be asking, “but why would you make a musical out of this?” and so was I. It was, an interesting story, but not that interesting. It was well preformed, but not brilliantly. The music was good, but not amazing. And, at the end of the day, I just couldn’t figure out why they made it a musical. The most engaging parts were the scenes that took place in the 70’s (much of the first act was a flashback). The interplay between the two women was quirky and fun, but at the end of the day, I’d recommend renting the film and skipping the musical. That said, I hear great things about Blackbird, which is playing now at the Studio Theatre too and I’d recommend spending your money on that. We’re going to try and catch it this coming week.