Q&A: Grey Gardens

Lisa Horner talks about performing in musical adaptation of Grey Gardens

Presented by Acting Up Stage Company
Book by Doug Wright, Music by Scott Frankel & Lyrics by Michael Korie
Based on the film Grey Gardens by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Mayer and Susan Froemke
Directed by Ann Hodges

Lisa Horner as Little Edie. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

Based on the 1976 cult classic documentary, Grey Gardens is a musical about two “staunch” and legendary women: Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Bealethe infamous aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Once the pinnacle of American high society, Big Edie and Little Edie became tabloid fodder in the 1970s when they were discovered living alongside feral cats and raccoons in the dilapidated, flea-infested remains of the family’s East Hampton estate.

The musical, with book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie, won three Tony Awards in 2007. This season, Acting Up Stage Company brings the show to Toronto in a new production starring Lisa Horner, who plays Big Edie in the musical’s fictional 1941 first act and Little Edie in the 1970s second act.

Here, Horner gives us a brief glimpse into her experience working on the show.

Theatromania: Tell us about Grey Gardens. How would you describe this musical in a few sentences?

LH: It's impossible to describe this musical in a few sentences. It is a story about a mother and daughter and their deep love for each other. It is also about co-dependancy, eccentricity, family discourse and poverty.

Theatromania: How did you prepare for this role?

LH: I read as much as I could about Little Edie and her mother and watched the documentary obviously.

Theatromania: Did anything surprise me in your research for the show?

LH: Everything in my research surprised me. These are incredibly fascinating and completely unforgettable women.

Theatromania: What have you learned from this experience so far?

LH: Well, I've learned how rewarding and challenging my job can be that's for sure.

Theatromania: What's next for you?

LH: Upcoming I will be in Ottawa at the NAC performing in Belles Soeurs: the Musical.

See Lisa Horner in Acting Up Stage Company's production of Grey Gardens, on stage until March 6, 2016 at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street). Visit actingupstage.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Fri, 2016-02-19 - Sun, 2016-03-06


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