First they got Snakebit, then Bees attack -- sounds like a rough summer. But actually, attendees of Florida's Caldwell Theatre Company are likely having a good time of it, since two Off-Broadway hits have reached the mainstage. Snakebit, the play by actor-cum-dramatist David Marshall Grant, ends its scheduled run July 23.
The play got national attention when Naked Angels presented a production in November 1998 at the Grove Street Theatre to good reviews. It was extended to December and then transferred to Off-Broadway's Century Center March 1, 1999, continuing to Aug. 1. Grant is now represented Off Broadway by Current Events at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
Snakebit, directed at the Caldwell by Michael Hall, concerns three friends facing a crossroads in their lives and friendships. One is a self centered actor allowing his career to overrun his marriage; another, Michael, is a passive-aggressive gay friend still smarting over his last relationship. We also meet the neglected wife and the new boyfriend of Michael's ex. Mark Rizzo, Tom Huston, Lanie MacEwan and Michael Warga star.
As an actor, author Grant is known for his stage role as Joe Pitt in Broadway's Angels in America, and as a recurring character in ABC's "thirtysomething."
Following the venom of Snakebit, which began performances June 24, comes the sweet satire of As Bees in Honey Drown, staged by Kenneth Kay. Bees deals with Evan Wyler, a first-time novelist who is hired by an eccentric, rich woman named Alexa Vere de Vere to write a screenplay based on her life. Even though Wyler has known success, he is attracted by the glamour and trappings of Alexa's world, only to discover much to his rue that she is a con artist who has stuck him with all her bills. Tickets to each show run $20-$29. Caldwell Theatre Company is located at 7873 North Federal Highway in Boca Raton. For information, call (561) 241-7432.
-- By David Lefkowitz
and Kenneth Jones