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The American Dream in Reverse

In Grey Gardens, The Musical, a mother and daughter both named Edith Beale inhabit a tumbledown mansion in the Hamptons filled with raccoons, vermin, fleas, and up to a thousand bags of garbage. But these women aren’t crackhead squatters. The elder Edith is Jackie Kennedy’s aunt, the younger her cousin, and the two were once fabulous, upper-class socialites who shuttled between Palm Beach and New York before falling from fortune. In 1975, the bizarre true story of these women became a minor scandal when their squalid mansion was repeatedly raided by health code enforcers; Jackie Kennedy forked over $30,000 to repair the estate. A year later, the two starred in a documentary, which, in 2006, spawned a highly acclaimed, Tony-award-winning musical that tracks their abject transformation from American aristocrats into penniless recluses living amid primeval filth like post-apocalyptic Boca women. Grey Gardens, The Musical opens at the Rising Action Theatre (1480 SW 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale) on Friday and runs through April 3. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Tickets cost $39, or $64 with dinner package. For more info, call 954-561-2225, or visit
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 25. Continues through April 3, 2011
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Penn Bullock

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