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

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.

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

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.

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

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

Funny, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You would like to know more about the first Jewish Miss America through her daughters eyes.

Don't see it if You don’t want to hear about the toxic relationship that Bess Myerson had with her daughter.

Also At the end of this show Berra Grant actually mentions rising above the... Read more Read less

Informative, Entertaining enough

See it if If you know of Bess and want to learn more about her relationship with her daughter

Don't see it if Good energy put a little slow. I think Women in their 50s or older will relate best to the story.

Disappointing, Self-indulgent, educational, layered

See it if You'll learn or recall everything about Bess Myerson while enduring fallout effect she had on her daughter:Mommy Dearest without coat hanger

Don't see it if If you dont remember Burt Parks. If you want to see Bess Myerson on stage: regrettably, she is an actress off stage who speaks by phone

Banal, Entertaining

See it if if you are interested in Bess Meyerson

Don't see it if her daughter had a tough life and can be hard to watch

Interesting but self-indulgent

See it if you are interested in the times and back story of Bess Myerson

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows or if you don't know or care about Bess Myerson

Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if You wish to witness a depressing story of a narcissistic mother and her daughter.

Don't see it if It was dreadful story that could have stayed off the stage.

Indulgent, Cliched, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy introspective stories, you've always wondered what happens to the daughters of pagent winners

Don't see it if you like fast-paced shows, one-woman shows are not your thing

Also An interesting story about the daughter of a pagent winner.... Read more Read less

Intense, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You want to hear about Bess Myerson and the way she treated her daughter

Don't see it if You don't want to hear constant nagging and whining. This is a very self indulgent, negative diatribe on someone's mother

Confessional, Kind hearted, Slow, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if you like hearing horror stories and appreciate them

Don't see it if expect a high level of performance or writing

Disappointing, Banal

See it if You can sympathize with Barra facing the audience reliving the memories of a mother that instead of nurturing made her life a living hell.

Don't see it if If you have endured a cruel detached relationship with anyone.

Quirky, Funny

See it if You enjoy a one woman autobiographical story

Don't see it if It was slow and kinda boring

Why?, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if You want to see someone work on horrendous mommy issues. Care about Ms. Grant and/or Ms. Myerson.

Don't see it if You have no patience for other people's issues. Show doesn't have life lessons beyond the personal history unless you can relate.

During previews
Great media display, Realistic view of aging parent, Historic, Slow, Funny

See it if the Big Payoff means something. Bess Myerson was a household name in my childhood home which focused my attention on this layered solo.

Don't see it if you expect deep insights. There is a lot of story telling & typical parental commentary but not a lot of moment to moment relationship.

During previews
Too long. cuts should be made! about 100 minutes no intermission, Indulgent, Slow, Best if you are interested in bess meyerson

See it if Interest in B Meyerson. Even more unlikely you’ll have wondered about her daughter. But given that it is the actual daughter adds interest

Don't see it if Not up to New York quality acting. Although the story is certainly for New Yorkers.

Also Nice small theater on 64th St. Nice to see it.

During previews
Uninvolving, Petty, Slow

See it if you want to watch someone dish dirt on Bess Myerson.

Don't see it if you want to become involved with the solo performer or her subject.

Also I felt as if someone was reading Page 6 articles about Bess Myerson. O... Read more Read less

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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