Grey Gardens at the King Plough Arts Center
September 10, 2009
More than one hundred Cornerstone members and their guests packed into the small intimate theatre at the King Plough Arts Center to see Actor’s Express performance of Grey Gardens, the hit Broadway musical based on the acclaimed film that documents the lives of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis’ flamboyantly eccentric aunt Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie.”
They lived at Grey Gardens, a decrepit mansion at 3 West End Road in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood in East Hampton, New York. The two women lived together at Grey Gardens for decades with limited funds, resulting in squalor and almost total isolation. The house was called Grey Gardens because of the color of the dunes, the cement garden walls, and the sea mist.
In the fall of 1971 and throughout 1972, their living conditions—their house was infested by fleas, inhabited by numerous cats and raccoons, deprived of running water, and filled with garbage and decay—were exposed as the result of an article in the National Enquirer after a series of inspections (which the Beales called “raids”) by the Suffolk County Health Department.
With the Beale women facing eviction and the razing of their home, in the summer of 1972 Jacqueline Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill provided the necessary funds to stabilize and repair the dilapidated house so that it would meet Village codes.
This was a private performance for just our members. Prior to the show, we had an opportunity to meet and mingle over a glass of wine or beer and some excellent hors d’oeuvres. Judging by the comments of those leaving the theatre, it was a great performance and enjoyed by all.