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The Year in Theater


Christine Ebersole as Little Edie Beale.  

2. Christine Ebersole in ‘Grey Gardens’
It wasn’t just the gorgeous singing, or the expert punch lines, or the affecting emotional climaxes, all of which could be found piecemeal around town. Playing Little Edie Beale in the musical based on the Maysles brothers’ documentary, Christine Ebersole folded these virtues and more into a performance as close to perfect as anybody has a right to expect. Whether she was chattering to other characters in the Beales’s cat-infested house or confiding in us across the footlights, she gave Little Edie an essential dignity while also being totally entertaining: a theatrically vibrant balancing act to rival any in recent memory. And that’s just Act Two, after she spends the first half of the show playing Little Edie’s mother—a beautiful performance in its own right.


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