The 11th Hour Theatre Company is putting on Grey Gardens (Saturday through Oct. 14), a musical based on the 1975 documentary about Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, the aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Doug Wright/Scott Frankel/Michael Korie show won a Drama Desk Award and three Tonys in 2007. (Award-winning productions seem to gravitate to this story: The 2009 HBO film with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, which included the filming of the documentary, won three Emmys and two Golden Globes.)
Grey Gardens is part of the 11th Hour's Next Step Concert Series, intimate, stripped down concert readings of full musicals. 11th Hour co-founder Steve Pacek, who directs Grey Gardens, says the show will be what the troupe does best: "a nine-person cast, with a four-piece chamber band, plus some lighting and a few props, to give you a taste of the ambience." He's loved the show ever since the original 2006 Broadway production, in which a buddy, Matt Cavenaugh, played Joseph Kennedy. "Act 2." he says, "is a recap of the documentary." What's Act 1, then? There's the brilliance of this show. "Act 1 is 25 years earlier, where the show conjectures what their lives were like in their heyday, when Grey Gardens [their Long Island estate] was a gathering place for the social elite, so you can measure how far they fell."
"These two women are cult favorites," Pacek says. "No one who has seen the documentary forgets it, and the music in this show is diverse, haunting, and beautiful."
Oct. 6-14, 11th Hour Theatre Company, Proscenium Theatre at the Drake, 302. S. Hicks. Street. Tickets: $15-$32. Information: 267-987-9865, 11thhourtheatrecompany.org