In 1972, a pair of documentary film makers recorded hours and hours of footage with the Beales in the Hamptons. Big Edie and Little Edie Beale were the aunt and cousin of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy. Big Edie was controlling and narcissistic and insisted her socialite daughter give up her fashionable life (along with prospects for marriage) to take care of their crumbling Hamptons mansion, Gray Gardens. I LOVE this film. I heard several years ago they were making a musical of the film, and I utterly disapproved. Despite my love for opera and its preposterous settings, I find most contemporary musicals to be very nails-on-chalkboard. However, I think they've done a masterful job with some fantastic songwriting.
Here are clips from the original which gives you an idea of the demented energy of these strange, isolated souls. I love the stuffing out of Little Edie, by the way. She's actually rather sweet, just incredibly odd. I can respect that.
Below is Christine Ebersole in the role of Edie at this year's Tony awards. She's fabulous.