Gina Wilhelm Actress – Being an Actress Without a Stage
Earlier this month I profiled some of the actresses appearing in the Boston production of “Grey Gardens.”
Today “The Bulletin” looks at the Philadelphia production.
Actress Hollis Resnik takes on the dual role of Big Edie in the first act and the older Little Edie in the second.
In the first act, Little Edie is played by Kim Carson. In the second, Big Edie is played by Joy Franz.
Reviewer Lindsay Warner says that Resnik gives a masterful portrayal of “trapped desperation.”
At one point, Major Bouvier calls Edith “that most pitiable of creatures: an actress without a stage.”
The women of this cast do a masterful job of bringing those creatures out into the light, according to Warner.
The first act works better than the second, particularly an engagement party for Little Edie, which Big Edie takes over, singing concert pieces and overshadowing her daughter.
The script works best when songs are used this way, to accompany the story rather than to enhance it.
The treatment of the true story of the Beales, cousin and aunt to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, feels “trivialized,” according to Warner.
She says the performances are excellent, as is the production itself, but the script is problematic.