The Farmington Players production of Douglas Carter Beane’s “As Bees in Honey Drown” promises smart and funny entertainment in performances slated February 8-23.
The satire focuses on a high-society socialite who thrives on conning artists. Alexa Vere De Vere promises to make first-time novelist Evan Wyler famous if he pens a screenplay of her outrageous life. Alexa shows Evan the best New York City has to offer. But Evan soon learns his new friend is a fraud and launches a scheme of his own to exact revenge.
“I think people will enjoy it because it’s not the standard romantic comedy: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy regains girl,” director Mike Smith of Royal Oak said in a press release. “This story is more—boy gets fame, boy is screwed by fame, and boy regains fame from a different perspective.”
The play includes several well-written gay characters (including the main character Evan Wyler) which Smith finds “particularly gratifying, as a gay man and a writer.” The main conflict is an identity crisis between who we are at heart and who we think we want to be.
“Evan has shelved his romantic side in favor of his art — his writing,” Smith explains. “This is important because when he finally tastes fame — the buzz, the hype — it seduces him. Fame in this case is played by Alexa, the femme fatale. So the gay man is seduced by a woman, then loses his identity completely. When he finds it again, he is changed and ready to accept who he is.”
Six actors play 22 characters in this production, which Smith says will stimulate the senses with its “…thirteen rolling set pieces and six backdrops plus original artworks… and lush sound design.”
Bonnie Fitch of Southfield considers the play “a sophisticated comedy that is a little different than your usual run of the mill comedy.” She plays seven supporting roles, including two of Alexa’s victims.
This comic romp opens Friday, February 8, and runs through February 23, at the Players Barn in Farmington Hills. Tickets are available at the box office, 248-553-2955 or at farmingtonplayers.org.