“Miss America’s Ugly Daughter” — A Runner Up

By Ernest Kearney — Let’s keep it short and sad, shall we?


Miss America’s Ugly Daughter written and performed by Barra Grant, the daughter of Bess Myerson, the first Jewish Miss America, was once, possibly, an entertaining evening.


That is no longer the case.


Now it is simply a tired old show, and neither Grant nor her director Eve Brandstein has managed to infuse any vigor back into it.


That said, the evening I attended, the Greenway Court Theatre was filled to capacity, and the audience, of the same generation as Grant, while not bouncing off their seats, did seem to enjoy this unarguably different take on the eternal conflict between the successful parent and ensuing offspring, as well as the gossip provided about Myerson’s fall from grace.


Myself, I just spent the entire show looking forlornly towards the exit.


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.


(Note:  Pictured in Main Image — Performer and Writer Barra Grant, Photo by Darrett Sanders)


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Miss America’s Ugly Daughter: Bess Myerson & Me

Opens March 3 — Playing through March 24


Greenway Court Theatre

544 N. Fairfax Ave.

Los Angeles CA 90036

For Tickets and other information:

 (323) 285-2078



Greenway Arts Alliance

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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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