Monday, June 11, 2007

Staunch Women . . . .

. . . . We just don't weaken.

The revolutionary costume pour du jour, Tony-award winner Christine Ebersole in "Grey Gardens":






"Let's win the revolution, with style!

The Revolutionary Costume For Today, from "Grey Gardens," premiered March 7, 2006
Music: Scott Frankel
Lyrics: Michael Korie
Book: Doug Wright
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Speaking)
Oh, hi. Thank heaven you're here. You look absolutely terrific, honestly. (Mother wanted me to come out in a kimono so we had quite a fight...)

(Singing)
The best kind of clothes for a protest pose
Is this ensemble of pantyhose
Pulled over the shorts, worn under the skirt
That doubles as a cape.

To reveal you in capri pants
You fashion out of ski pants,
In a jersey knit designed to fit
The contour of your shape.
Then cinch it with a cord from the drape.

And that's the revolutionary costume for today.
To show the polo riders, in khakis and topsiders,
Just what a revolutionary costume has to say.
It can't be ordered from L.L. Bean.
There's more to living than kelly green.
And that's the revolution, I mean.

Da da da da dum...

(Speaking)
Just listen to this: The Hamptons Bee, July, 1972: "The elderly bed-ridden aunt of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale..."

My very own mother, can you imagine?

"...and her adult daughter, Miss Edie Beale, a former debutante once known as Body Beautiful Beale..."

They called me Body Beautiful Beale, it's true - that was my whaddyacallit, my uh ... sobriquet.

"...are living on Long Island in a garbage-ridden, filthy 28-room house with 52 cats, fleas, cobwebs, and virtually no plumbing. After vociferous complaints from neighbors, the Board of Health took legal action against the reclusive pair."

Why, it's the most disgusting, atrocious thing ever to happen in America!

(Singing)
You fight City Hall with a Persian shawl
That used to hang on the bedroom wall,
Pinned under the chin, adorned with a pin
And pulled into a twist.

Reinvent the objet trouve,
Make a poncho from a duvet,
Then you can be with cousin Lee
On Mr. Blackwell's list.
The full-length velvet glove hides the fist.

And that's the revolutionary costume for today.
Subvert the CrisCraft boaters, those Nixon-Agnew voters.
Armies of conformity are headed right your way.
To make a statement you need not be
In Boston Harbor upending tea.
And that's a Revolution, to me.

Staunch!
There's nothin' worse, I tell ya,
Staunch!
S-T-A-U-N-C-H.
Staunch women, we just don't weaken.
A little known fact to the fascist pack
Who comes here for antiquin'.

Da da da da dum...

(Speaking)
Honestly, they can get you in East Hampton for wearing red shoes on a Thursday - and all that sort of thing. I don't know whether you know that - I mean, do you know that? They can get you for almost anything - it's a mean, nasty, Republican town.

(Singing)
The best kind of shoes to express bold views
Are strapless mules in assertive hues
Like fuscia or peach, except on the beach,
In which case you wear flats.

When I stood before the nation
At Jack's inauguration,
In a high-heeled hump, I got the jump
On Jackie's pillbox hat.
Just watch it where you step with the cat!

And that's the revolutionary costume pour du jour.
You mix'n'match and, Presto! A fashion manifesto.
That's why a revolutionary costume's de rigeur.

The rhododendrons are hiding spies,
The pussy willows have beady eyes.
Binoculars through the privet hedge,
They peek at you through the window ledge with guile!

We're in a Revolution!
So win the Revolution with style!

Da da da da dum.

1 comment:

GlennNYC said...

One of the best second act openings in American theatre. I was so glad they picked this song to do at the Tonys, although I would have liked to see Mary Louise Wilson on stage as well. Edieeeee!