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  Miss America's Ugly Daughter: Bess Myerson and Me Reviews
Miss America's Ugly Daughter: Bess Myerson and Me
Greenway Court Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

LA Splash- Highly Recommended

"...But, above all, MISS AMERICA'S UGLY DAUGHTER is the story of Barra Grant's growth as a person and her ability to forgive her mother and move on with her life. And become the mother she never had to her own daughter. There is an underlying sadness to this account - but also a breath of joy at the end when Barra begins to appreciate herself. The play is an intriguing study about what it means to be famous - and the impact that fame may have on people close to the prominent."
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Elaine Mura

Theatre Spoken Here- Recommended

"...This adaptation of Tolstoy's epic novel is staged in a stylized manner that cuts to the heart of Anna's familiar story: the stifling marriage, the rapturous affair, the throwing caution to the wind and, of course, the ultimate tragedy."
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Morna Martell

Santa Monica Daily Press- Recommended

"...Grant’s mother was Bess Myerson, the only Jewish girl ever to be named Miss America, and the title of Barra’s play, “Miss America’s Ugly Daughter”, establishes the tone of their relationship. Myerson, who remained a self-absorbed beauty queen for the rest of her life, would call her daughter on the phone in the middle of the night to talk about herself, complain about her affairs, and whine about her anxieties. It was a special form of emotional abuse, since she never expressed interest in Barra’s life, but Barra absorbed all the calls and clung to the hope that her mother would eventually stop belittling her and come to love her."
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Cynthia Citron

Stage Raw- Highly Recommended

"...Director Eve Brandstein contributes enormously to the piece's emotional impact with inventive use of the stage and by choreographing the back and forth shifts in time with great clarity. She also frames the telephone interplay between mother and daughter so that it interweaves seamlessly into Grant's monologue."
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Iris Mann

Accessibly Live Off-Line- Recommended

"...This show, written and performed by Barra (nee Barbara) Grant and directed by Eve Brandstein, is a true and rather honest look of the life of a child that was living in the shadow of being with a celebrity. Barra gives a "tell-all" confession on how her lifestyle was affected thanks to her mom's many encounters of the men of her life ranging from a millionaire to a mid-level mobster. Barra herself eventually shook off her uglyness, wrote screenplays nobody did anything with, and became an actress appearing in a grade "Z" grind house feature. But throughout the show, it's about the life and times of Barra and Bess."
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Rich Borowy

Theatre Notes- Somewhat Recommended

"...People of meager means may not be able to have sympathy for the plights of the rich and the famous, but their emotional struggles are real, often painful, and a child is a child, and what happens to a child molds its future. Ms. Grant reveals the struggles of a child growing up with a self-absorbed mother with seemingly little regard for how her actions affect a vulnerable little girl. The trajectory of her life is unfolded in vignettes, punctuated by late night telephone calls from her now fragile insecure mom (brilliantly performed by Ms. Piper). Ms. Grant is a sympathetic figure on stage, and opens up with touching honesty as she tells the tales of her life, peppering the stories with self-effacing humor. Her performance, however, is low-key and could use more moments of spontaneous energy that draw in the audience."
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Paul Myrvold

The TVolution- Not Recommended

"...It you are the type who still finds "Love American Style" chock-full of pithy insights and solid belly laughs, you may have an enjoyable time at this one-woman show; with assistance from Monica Piper. Otherwise all it offers is an occasion to practice your Zen meditations."
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Ernest Kearney

Its Not About Me- Not Recommended

"...If you're curious, go see it. But if you've ever been a fan of Bess Myerson, who over her long life did a lot of good for Jewish people, and New Yorkers, in general, this is not the show for you. I wish that I had passed on it."
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Karen Salkin