Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grey Gardens (Northlight Theatre) - 11/19/08

"Grey Gardens" is sure to go down in history as one of the most quirky musicals to play on Broadway. The musical is based on a documentary of the same name, depicting the sadly desperate existence of the hermit-like relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy. The musical is a showcase for any musical theater actress aspiring for greatness (playing the mother in the first act, and the daughter in the second). As such, it's no surprise that Chicago diva Hollis Resnick has seized the opportunity with such aplomb; this is an expansive, nuanced performance that I think will go down as one of her crowning achievements. However, instead of rising to Ms. Resnick's level, the rest of the cast and other production elements are merely serviceable. The show here lacks the same level of focus and intensity of its Broadway counterpart. Having said that, the show, mostly on the strength of Ms. Resnick's memorable performance, remains worth seeing as an effective portrait of lives gone sour.

Rating: *** (out of *****)

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