-proclaimed the #1 Show of the Year by Time magazine is preserved here in its Original Broadway Cast Recording. The show had been previously recorded following its off-Broadway premiere in the spring of 2006, but this new recording features the new songs and new cast members that were added for its Tony Award-winning Broadway transfer. Grey Gardens
opened on Broadway on November 2, 2006, to rave reviews, led by Ben Brantley in The New York Times, who called it an experience no passionate theatergoer should miss! Starring Tony Award-winner Christine Ebersole and Tony Award nominee Mary Louise Wilson, it subsequently appeared on over 25 Best of 2006 lists, including #1 Show of the Year (Time), Best Musical of the Year (USA Today, Entertainment Weekly) and Performance of the Year (The New York Times, New York) for Ms. Ebersole. In addition to the new songs and new performances, this Original Broadway Cast Recording also features an all-new 32-page full-color booklet complete with lyrics and Broadway production photos.
Based on the Maysles brothers' cult 1975 documentary of the same name, this musical is an endearing-and sometimes genuinely heartwrenching-oddity propelled by Christine Ebersole's exceptional, for-the-history-books performance. The movie followed the kooky duo of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Little Edie Beale, as they lived with their 52 cats in a derelict East Hampton mansion. The show's first act, set in 1941, is a prologue of sorts, while the second act, set in 1973, follows the movie closely. Ebersole plays Edith in Act I (which she concludes in dazzling manner with "Will You?") and Little Edie in Act II (when Mary Louise Wilson comes in to play the mother). And while Wilson is superb, this is Ebersole's show. Technically, she is flawless-just listen to the way she changes her voice between the acts-but she also makes Little Edie a poignant eccentric, a lost soul stuck in a world of deluded, decaying grandeur. It all peaks in the poignant "Around the World," the show's best song and an Ebersole tour de force. Note that this recording documents the Off-Broadway production; the show transferred to Broadway in the fall of 2006 with a slightly altered first act. --Elisabeth Vincentelli