Already closed | 1h 30m | Upper W Side

Miss America's Ugly Daughter

From 84 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 (84)


Entertaining, Funny, Indulgent, Absorbing, Slow
Avg Score

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)

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

Poignant, Great writing, Great acting, Hilarious, Enchanting

See it if you are intrigued by recounts of changes over time in famous mother/not famous daughter relationships, esp. of Bess Meyerson/Jews.

Don't see it if you do not like one woman stand up comedy/vignettes, plays about mother/daughter relationships, sitting 90 min. w/out interval small house.

Also The on stage (Bess’ real life daughter) live acting and off stage Bess... Read more Read less

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Thought-provoking, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You like single person performance.

Don't see it if You like musicals and comedies

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Resonant, Masterful, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in Bess Meyerson and how someone with notariety can affect the life of their child.

Don't see it if You don't like a one actor show and don't like straight acting.

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.

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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