Harry Hamm – CBSLocal.com, July 21, 2016
Max & Louie’s production of the award winning musical “Grey Gardens” belongs to Debby Lennon. It’s that simple.
In Act I, we see her as “Big Edie,” the wealthy matron of a privileged east coast family in 1941 related to Jackie Kennedy. She is only interested in maintaining status and preserving her daughter, “Young Edie,” from any marriage she sees as threatening to the family’s preservation of life style and her personal idiosyncrasies, even if it is to the dashing young future presidential hopeful, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr.
In Act II we see her as mentally adrift “Little Edie” who’s marriage to the Kennedy heir long ago was sidetracked by her mother, beginning a confused flight for independence that sees her come full circle and back to the family estate where, in 1973, both buildings and lives have gone to shambles.
Donna Weinsting is excellent as Edith Bouvier Beale. The plays uses musical numbers to propel the story and provide comic relief.
There are even several fantasy numbers that drive the sadness and superficiality of it all home with meaningful impact.
But it is Debby Lennon and her perfect accents, presence, posture, understanding and vocal abilities that make it all come together in a less than tidy but always authentic package.
You can almost hear the cats.