As Bees in Honey Drown, Douglas Carter Beane's Off-Broadway comedy, opens at Houston's Alley Theatre May 3 on the Neuhaus Arena Stage. Performances began April 28 for a run through May 28. Alley Theatre company member James Black directs. Black made his Broadway debut as Butch O'Fallon, the prison leader in Not About Nightingales. In his 11th season with the Alley, he has portrayed a wide variety of characters, from Roy Cohn in Angels in America, Buzz Hauser in Love! Valour! Compassion!, the title role in Macbeth, Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot in Black Coffee and multiple roles in Mere Mortals.
As Bees in Honey Drown tells the story of Evan Wyler, a neophyte novelist who is duped by serial scam artist and self-made celebrity Alexa Vere de Vere. Artistic director of New York City's Drama Dept., Beane is the author of The Country Club, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, the upcoming play Music From a Sparkling Planet and the book to the new musical, The Big Time.
Carol Johnson (Alley's Hay Fever) stars as Vere de Vere with Ty Mayberry as Wyler. Also in the cast are Jamison Stern (Swen, Kaden, others), Todd Waite (Ronald, Skunk, Mike), Shelly Calene-Black (Amber and others) and Kwana Martinez (Waiter and others).
The design team for Bees includes Kevin Rigdon (sets and lighting), Jeanne Button (costumes) and Malcolm Nicholls (sound). Amy Knotts is the stage manager.
Tickets are $42-$37 and are available by calling the Alley box office at (713) 228-9341 ext. 350. The Alley Theatre is on the web at http://www.alleytheatre.com.
-- By Christine Ehren