Fueled by sweet reviews - including a rave by The New York Times' Ben Brantley - Douglas Carter Beane's contemporary satire As Bees in Honey Drown has zipped a couple of blocks crosstown from Greenwich House to a commercial Off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre.
After quickly selling out its limited run June 5-29, the Drama Dept. production moved to the Lortel on July 15, with opening night set for July 24. An announced extension at Greenwich House was cancelled. News of the transfer came just one week after the comedy opened to a raft of positive notices.
Bo Foxworth has replaced the original production's lead, Josh Hamilton, who left to fulfill a film commitment, while Amy Ryan has taken over the series of minor roles previously played by Cynthia Nixon. Other principals remain: J. Smith-Cameron, T. Scott Cunningham, Sandra Daley, and Mark Nelson. The commercial transfer is being produced by Edgar Lansbury, Everett King, Randall L. Wreghitt, Chase Mishkin, Steven M. Levy, Leonard Soloway, by special arrangement with Lucille Lortel. Co-producer Lansbury directed Beane's flop, Advice From a Caterpillar, which ran briefly at the Lortel in 1991.
For director Mark Brokaw, the Lortel move marks his second straight off-Broadway commercial transfer, a mere two months after his production of Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive hopped across the street from the Vineyard Theatre to the Century Theatre.
The production team for Bees remains intact: set design is by Allen Moyer, costumes by Jonathan Bixby, lighting by Kenneth Posner, and original music and sound by David Van Tieghem. Tickets ($40-$45) for Bees at the Lucille Lortel Theatre are on sale via Tele-charge (212-239-6200). You can also order tickets on Playbill On-Line.
-- By Andrew Ku