REVIEW: Josie and Grace

The onstage dynamic between Harris and Comeau is warm and thoughtful.

By Paul Blinov

Josephine Baker met Grace Kelly when the former was already a well-established star and the latter just a struggling actor. But their bond would last through rises and falls in the years to come.

Josie and Grace is, in some ways, a dreamlike companion to Josephine, in Concert, also running this Fringe: Baker’s played with the same zeal and gravitas by Tymisha Harris in both, while Rachel Comeau finds a reflective nuance in Kelly here. But the show very much stands on its own, going deep into the peaks and valleys of their friendship as their lives, and the world, shifted drastically over the decades. Kelly going from Oscar winner to royalty—the Princess of Monaco—puts a tight vice on her life and career; Baker’s personal life and professional opportunities start to implode. The onstage dynamic between Harris and Comeau is warm and thoughtful, both performers ably navigating the changing status between the two figures, as well as delivering gorgeous songs throughout.

In truth, this story feels bigger than its Fringe timeslot—certain moments feel more condensed than their emotional weight deserves—but it’s a compelling look at a quiet friendship between a star and a princess, the crossing of paths that deserves to be more than a historical footnote.


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