By Tanner Stransky
Updated April 17, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Tomorrow night, you must watch HBO’s Grey Gardens, if for no other reason than to see the divine Drew Barrymore (pictured with the equally divine Jessica Lange) do Little Edie Beale’s famous “best costume for the day” monologue. For posterity, here’s the speech — where the eccentric Little Edie earnestly reveals her scattered thoughts on clothing and costuming — reproduced in all its glory:

Love. Especially when she says you can “always take the skirt off and use it as a cape.” You honestly can’t script that kind of moment!

To prep for your Saturday night viewing of Grey Gardens, however, it’d be good you knew a little bit more about the history of the entire phenomenon. So, if you’ve got the time, use this as a primer:

1. Watch the original 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens. Just rent it. You’ll be astonished when you tune in tomorrow night and see that none of this wackiness about Edith Beale and her daughter, Little Edie — who were real-life relatives of Jackie O. — is exaggerated. Oh, and if you really have some extra time on your hands, catch the follow-up, The Beales of Grey Gardens, which is essentially outtakes from the documentary.

2. Know that the first adaptation of Grey Gardens was by no means this HBO film. It was adapted for Broadway in the fall of 2006 — and it won three Tony Awards in 2007. Read EW’s stage review of the show, and then watch Christine Ebersole singing as Little Edie at the Tony Awards here:

3. If you’re more the reader type, try paging through this exhaustive 1972 New York Magazine article about the Beales. The detail in the reporting is astounding and there won’t be a thing about the ladies you don’t know.

4. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes featurette of the making of the film from HBO. It’s just fun to hear Lange and Barrymore wildly wax on about this mother-daughter love story.

addCredit(“Peter Stranks/HBO”)

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