Ends Mar 01 | 1h 30m | Upper W Side

Miss America's Ugly Daughter

From 69 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Indulgent, Absorbing, Slow

About the show

In this solo piece, Barra Grant explores her life growing up in the shadow of her mother Bess Myerson, the first and only Jewish Miss America. More…

From the show:

BARRA GRANT stars in this darkly hilarious mother-daughter story. The critically acclaimed play tells the true story of Grant growing up a confused ugly duckling in the shadow of her spectacular mother, BESS MYERSON, the first and only ever JEWISH MISS AMERICA!


Member Reviews (69)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Funny, Indulgent, Absorbing, Slow
70
Avg Score

75
Funny, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if This was an enjoyable play about real people I didn't know about. Sad and funny. Clever staging and premise.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy one-person shows. Can be slow at times and painful to watch (I know people just like that)

77
Funny, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy stories about strained mother/daughter relationships. Very entertaining & interesting true story that I was not familiar with.

Don't see it if You dislike one person shows. Grant is not the best actress however I very much enjoyed her play so it ultimately did not matter.

68
Intimate, Entertaining, Clunky, Slow, Indulgent

See it if you don’t mind another 1 person show. This one has some broad appeal, speaking to those whose parents didn’t love them enough or correctly.

Don't see it if You don’t need to see anyone else work out there issues on stage. I think maybe more women maybe could relate to this with their mothers.

Also This is yet another of what I call “Theatre as Therapy” shows. Playwri... Read more Read less

64
Cliched, Overrated, Indulgent, Dated

See it if A play about a mother who is unemotional about her daughter.

Don't see it if Very uneven throughout, never gets deep enough into each others lives.

60
Interesting, Slow, Awkward, Disappointing

See it if u want to see an an unappreciated daughter deliver a hate letter to her once-famous, former beauty queen (& profoundly narcissistic) mother.

Don't see it if u want to avoid a mostly humorless, action-free "Bessie Dearest"; ur not interested in participating in Grant's personal catharsis/therapy.

Also There are several inexplicable musical transitions that do nothing mor... Read more Read less

69
Entertaining, Great staging, Slow, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if you want to learn about Bess Myerson from her daughter's point of view with good projections and revealing, yet guarded information.

Don't see it if you expect anything more than a one-person show where the interaction between mother and daughter is all by interruptive telephone calls.

70
Absorbing, Entertaining, Slow, Funny

See it if Sad/Funny true relationship between mother and daughter.

Don't see it if one woman show, that is slow at time.

68
Self indulgent, Entertaining

See it if If you enjoy insight into a life, this is a little better than most "woe is me" shows since the author is self-deprecating.

Don't see it if another show about how someone could not escape an abusive situation because of a lack of independence is a turn of.

Also Barra Grant has a somewhat entertaining stage presence and he writing ... Read more Read less

80
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Believable, Heartfelt, Not acrimonious

See it if you remember Bess and want to see some of the curtain pulled back on what her life really was all about. Also, this one's more for gals.

Don't see it if you don't know about Bess and are tired of one-person shows that turn, almost inevitably, into therapy sessions.

Also I truly expected to be disappointed with this, but instead my friend a... Read more Read less

74
Sad, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if You are interested in the true life of Bess Meyerson and her narcissism, this your play. It read like Page 6 from the NY Post.

Don't see it if You want a happy biography.

35
Frightening, Depressing, Excruciating, Insipid, Indulgent

See it if This sad mother-daughter tale is horribly written and overwrought, with a forced resolution.

Don't see it if There were potentially ways that this sad story could have been more compelling or even watchable

Also but they were all left out. Where were the photographs of the epoch/ti... Read more Read less

69
Ambitious, Cliched, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you like stories of dysfunctional families.

Don't see it if you don't like solo shows, especially lacking a strong performer.

65
Slow, Indulgent, Banal

See it if You want to revisit a pop culture moment in NYC history.

Don't see it if You are expecting something campy or fun. There are a few laughs but it comes across more depressing than entertaining.

28
Slow, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if Barra Grant might be a story teller but she isn't actress which is needed during this LONG 90 minute one-woman show riddled with clichés.

Don't see it if The craziest thing about this "show" is that the talented Anna Holbrook is off-stage for the ENTIRE show as the voice of the mother.

85
Terrific surprise, Poignant, Great writing, Funny, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in Bess Meyerson, mother-daughter relationships, family dysfunction, personal stories

Don't see it if you don't like solo shows or intimate theater.

73
Great set, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if you know who Bess Myerson was and wonder what happened to her and you love meeting the stars at the end of the show.

Don't see it if you've never heard of Bess Myerson and you have no desire to meet the stars after the show.

69
Disappointing, Funny, Slow

See it if you have a generous spirit & bear up through almost monotone acting for the ultimate redemption.

Don't see it if you're judgmental of people doing the best they can (in this case "acting") while baring their soul to the world.

Also Barra's heartbreaking story is worth the telling and I give her credit... Read more Read less

58
Sporadically awkward, Relevant, Sad without trying to be, Slow

See it if you're interested in less than healthy mother-daughter relationships or sad solo tales

Don't see it if you're looking for something well paced or positive

Also I think the show was trying to show the positive end to a story with a... Read more Read less

75
Insightful, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever

See it if If you remember Bess Meyerson, want to learn about an important Jewish woman (more than a pop culture reference or tabloid headline)!

Don't see it if If you don’t like watching mother/daughter relationships play out, one woman shows, or aren’t interested in Bess Meyerson.

Also We’ve all seen and read enough stories of high powered famous women an... Read more Read less

83
Funny, Telling!, Great writing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you've any interest in a former pop culture New Yorker and Miss America! You know how the children of narcissistic celebrities turn out!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a "telling" one-woman show about the former Miss America.

90
Resonant, Masterful, Great writing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy true story one person shows done excellently. Very absorbing and enjoyable. Sad but true story.

Don't see it if You do not like solo performances.

76
Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in one woman’s journey with what she considered a bad mother and overcoming all the obstacles to find the bright light

Don't see it if It’s big Broadway you are after.

70
Ambitious, Depressing, Indulgent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You want to see what happens to the life of an abused child who doesn’t really get over her childhood. A neat package of a play.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a woman in her 70s dragging the memory of her mother through the mud. She may deserve it but it’s a Sad life journey

80
Funny, poignant & therapeutic, A vivid portrait of extreme narcissism, A biographical exercise in forgiveness and redemption

See it if You like biographical one person shows. You will laugh, you will wince & be moved by the story Ms. Grant shares about life with her mother.

Don't see it if You don't care for biographical one-woman shows.

Also This was a very well written, staged and performed one-woman show. It ... Read more Read less

68
Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if You followed career of Bess Myerson

Don't see it if You are expecting an action packed production. If you are up for something uplifting


January 20th, 2020
"Bess Myerson’s ‘Ugly Daughter’ Recalls Miss America Dearest Barra Grant’s autobiographical solo play plumbs her fraught relationship with her mother, the famous politician and beauty queen Bess Myerson."
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January 17th, 2020
"Miss America's Ugly Daughter Dishes on a Beauty Queen's Private Cruelty: Bess Myerson's daughter performs her confessional solo show off-Broadway."
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January 27th, 2020
"Barra Grant Tells of Her Iconic and Infamous Mom in 'MISS AMERICA'S UGLY DAUGHTER: BESS MYERSON AND ME'"
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January 17th, 2020
"Grant is a pleasant, undemonstrative performer…While not given to histrionics, she earns our engagement as she…leads to…an act of forgiveness. 'Miss America's Ugly Daughter' is neither a mess nor the best of Bess but the inherent fascination of its subject covers a multitude of sins."
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Cast & Creatives (2)