April 20th, 2014

Dr. Tectonic

Grey Gardens

Our friend Douglas is a scenic designer, and he recently did the set for a production of Grey Gardens at the Vintage Theatre down off Colfax. He had a couple comp tickets to spare and asked us if we'd like to see it. We contributed a whole big box of empty catfood cans to the set construction, and we wanted to see them on stage, so we said sure. ;)

I've never seen it, but I gather the original Grey Gardens is a documentary from 1975 about two of Jackie O's cousins (mother and daughter) who end up as crazy cat ladies living in squalor in the eponymous beach house in the Hamptons. The play is a musical based on that; the second act seemed like pretty much a recreation of the documentary (with songs), while the first act is set in 1941 and seems to have been constructed to tell the backstory that makes sense of the second act. The show is advertised as both comedic and dramatic and a little bit campy, and that seems accurate.

We enjoyed it. The acting was good, and the main actress (who plays the mother in the first act and the daughter in the second act) is very good and kind of terrifying. (She has this look and persona that I think a lot of drag queens would just die for. Also, she would make a great Yzma in a live-action version of The Emperor's New Groove.) The mother-daughter interactions are just amazingly unhealthy and codependent, but surprisingly relatable nonetheless. And then the second act is chaotic and literally crazy. I thought it was not quite as strong as the first act, and could have used some dynamic exploration of Little Edie's conflict over wanting to leave but not being able to, instead of just presenting it as her being stuck. But it certainly excelled at being an appalling downfall.

Anyway, it was good, and now I kinda wanna see the documentary, and I'm kinda scared of it.

Afterwards we had dinner with Douglas & Bob & Jeff, and it was nice to visit with them.

I also did a lot of grocery shopping today. Bought a whole bunch of produce that as yet I have no particular plans for, which is a little dangerous, but we'll just have to do a lot of cooking. At Sprouts, I picked up some bulk Australian black licorice because it was on sale, and I have to say that damn that's good stuff! Probably a good thing that it was too pricey for me to get very much.