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Actors Prepare for "Grey Gardens" Transformation

Kathleen Warfel as Edith Bouvier Beale and Cathy Barnett as "Little" Edie Beale.
photo: Cynthia Levin, courtesy of Unicorn Theatre
Kathleen Warfel as Edith Bouvier Beale and Cathy Barnett as "Little" Edie Beale.

With the Unicorn Theatre's mounting of the Tony Award-winning musical "Grey Gardens," the cast and production team faced a formidable task. The lead actresses are recreating two of the most beloved and iconic figures in the history of documentary filmmaking and it's their notoriety that has called forth a platoon of hair and make-up artists to ensure that the actors' transformations ring true.By Steve Walker


Kansas City, MO – The 1975 documentary film, "Grey Gardens" by Albert and David Maysles immortalized Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis's aunt and cousin, Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, during the 1970s, long after they'd fallen from social graces. "Big" Edie and "Little" Edie lived in a decaying house falling apart around them with raccoons residing in their attic.

To bring the Beales alive for the Unicorn Theatre's production, work began six weeks before the opening. KCUR's Steve Walker visited a make-up session with actor Cathy Barnett, who plays young "Big" Edie in the first act and "Little" Edie in the second act, and a wig-fitting at a salon with actor Kathleen Warfel, who plays "Big" Edie in the second act.

The Unicorn Theatre's production of "Grey Gardens" (previews January 27 and 28), January 29 - February 28, 2010.

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