On October 16, I went to see As Bees in Honey Drown presented by the Fortune company at Theater in the park, located in Flushing meadows park. The timing of the show was 6:00 p. m. , but I got to the theater by 6:10 due to the unexpected traffic for the Mets game on the same night. When I got to the theater, people were still getting tickets for the show. I rushed into the theater to get a good seat (the show had general admission). Most of the audience were in their fifties and up. There were a few in their 20s who were friends of the actors.
There were about 100 seats in the theater; about 60 were occupied. I chose to see a play in a small theater because I felt that I would nott be able to have this intimacy and closeness to the actors by sitting in the back seat of a big Broadway theater as I would in a small theater where every seat is like the front row. The stage was a proscenium. The set contained few tables and few chairs. Instrumental rock music was playing in the back until the show started. There was a red backdrop in the rear of the stage. As Bees in Honey Drown is written by Douglas Carter Beane.
It is a comedy set in the fast lane of high-style Manhattan. The play is set in the present time. As Bees in Honey Drown presents itself as a satire of a society obsessed with fame. Before the show began we were warned by the producer that the show contains mature language. The show followed the producers speech, at approximately 6:20 p. m.. As the play starts off, Evan Tyler has just finished a photo session with his shirt off. No, hes not a supermodel; hes a twenty-something, gay New York writer savoring the success of his debut novel, that earns some nice reviews but no cash.
Defined by the media as the “hot-young” thing-of-the-moment, Evan captures the attention of Alexa Veer e Veer, a woman of mystery whos made the world of celebrity her home. She is a self-invented socialite who claims Auntie Mamma as her chief inspiration. Maybe shes a record producer, maybe shes a film agent. She’s seen his photograph in a magazine, she loves his book, and she wants him to give him a big break: the chance to script the screen version of her life story, a life she promises is “too entrancing, almost even for me. ” Just spend time with me, she says, and youll learn all you need to know.
Alexa has been everywhere and done everything, and she speaks in sparkling, unny phrases that flatter Evan in a thousand ways. Evan agrees to the deal. Alexa wines and dines him, buys him a new wardrobe and teaches him style. Visions of fame and fortune dancing in his head, as he becomes increasingly enamored with the captivating, yet mysterious Alexa. Though gay, Evan has sex with Alexa and admits he is falling in love with her. During the next few weeks, Alexa never has the cash to pay for her adventures with Evan, but she promises that her accountant will reimburse him for the thousands of dollars he’s racking up on his credit card.
But once Evan fools himself into believing he oves Alexa, she vanishes, leaving him to foot the bill of over $15,000 on his credit cards for all the dinners, hotel expenses and Armani suits theyve gone through. Evan begins searching for a way to redeem his encounter with her. Trying to find Alexa, Evan discovers a chain of people who have fallen under her spell and acted as her meal ticket. For Alexa has no money, no job, no life of her own –only the one shes created for herself. Evan doesnt want be just another one of the putz. He decides to find Alexa and take revenge.
He talks to all the people that have been had by Alexa. After talking to them he realizes that Alexas next prey will be the newest face on the covers of magazines. By the time Evan gets to this new face, she had already got a call from Alexa and had made plans with her. Evan contacts all her ex-clients and tells them of Alexas next move. Alexa finds out about the plans made against her and faces Evan. Evan, disgusted by the sight of Alexa, violently throws Alexa out of his apartment. He will never see Alexa Vere De Vere and her fairy tale life again. This play treats its audience the same way Alexa treats Evan.
The audience loved it ecause the dialogue flatters them with jokes that only fabulous people could understand, yet the plot is ironic about being fabulous, which reassures the audience they’re above being fabulous. In other words, As Bees in Honey Drown works by manipulating the audience’s enjoyment of the very things it purports to forbid. One flashback shows a young Alexa savoring the triumph of opening her first art gallery and selling her husband’s shoddy paintings for stellar prices: “We’ve f****d them over, and they’ve said thank you,” she coos to her husband. The costumes matched and defined the characters very well.
Alexa was dressed rich. Throughout the show she had on furs, expensive jewelry, and elegant clothing. Evan, on the other hand, was dressed down to earth, inexpensive and plain. The first suit he ever had was bought through Alexa. Evan was the boring and shy type, and Alexa was the fun and successful person that one could only dream of becoming. Throughout the show, Evan carried a hand prop. He would always carry with him a composition book in which he would make personal entries, and later notes about Alexas life. As each character would come on stage, they would carry in their props and any furniture needed.
Holmes Rackleff played the perfect Alexa. I was amazed by her errorless speaking. If I was in her place, with those lines, I wouldnt last a minute without making some error. Her timing is perfect, her glamour is convincing, and in flashbacks, she successfully reveals the many layers of Alexa’s artifice. She was the main part and the funny part of the show. I was, truly amazed by how flawless her acting was. She projected her voice very clearly. There were no microphones being used in the show. Throughout the whole show, I was mainly concerned with the character of Alexa.
Jeffrey Nissani, on the other hand, did not match with Holmes talents. He didnt do such a convincing role of Evan. His acting didnt seem very natural. Judging by his performance, it was extremely hard to believe that he was a professional actor, or so it says in the program. His performance forced me to pay more attention to the minor characters rather than him. There was only a trace of emotions in his word. Throughout the show, he misspoke parts from few of the lines. He also didnt do too well in projecting his voice. He was too loud; it seemed at times that he was yelling his lines.
The other actors were good, but none of them could compare to the marvelous performance given by Holmes. She elicited giggles and belly laughs from everyone in the audience. This show was my very first theatrical experience; And I must say, It was a great experience. I never realized how great live performance could be. If it wasnt for this paper, I would have probably gone through life without realizing how entertaining theater can be. Even though I havent had much experience with theater, I am sure that even professional theater-goers will say it was a magnificent performance.