Saturday, December 11, 2010

AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN • Stray Dog Theatre

Who wouldn't want a shot at fame and fortune?  Nowadays, when our culture is drenched with glamour-seekers and reality tv show celebrities, this Douglas Carter Beane comedy about the takers, and the ones who are taken, is right on time.

Evan Wyler (a wonderful Martin Fox with the cutest head of curly hair you've ever seen) is a young, hot, flavor-of-the-month novelist, having his picture taken for a magazine, when he first meets Alexa Vere de Vere (an impressive, once you settle in to her, Sarajane Alverson).  She presents herself as a record producer who would like for Wyler to turn the story of her life into a screenplay.  She's a fast talking socialite seething with the guise of wealth and glamour, and poor Evan falls for it hook, line and sinker.  After paying him one-thousand bucks as an advance, Evan follows her around to document her life, and ends up falling for the facade she presents along the way, paying for things with his credit card, and sleeping with her.  Oh, did I mention Evan is gay?  Yeah.  Alexa's got some mojo, and Wyler and Alverson have amazing chemistry that's incredibly believable onstage.

While preparing for a trip with her to L.A. he discovers that his credit card is maxed out, and Alexa has gone bye-bye.  In an effort to track her down, Evan meets many of the people Alexa has left in her wake, and gets himself a little sweet revenge.

Martin Fox (Evan Wyler)
and Sarajane Alverson (Alexa Vere de Vere).
Photo credit: John Lamb.
This is a great show, well directed by Gary F. Bell.  The supporting cast members are as strong as the leads, pulling double duty in multiple roles, and sucking you in to every one of their incarnations.  The creative team come together to realize this play in every aspect -- lighting, sound, set and costumes (Tyler Duenow, Justin Been, L.D. Lawson and Gary F. Bell respectively).  Another thing, their interval music choices always seem so right on the money to me.  Adds a lot to the evening.

I have to say, it's so nice to come back from a wonderful trip to the Big Apple, to a city with a rich load of theatre itself.  I think many of us theatre lovers take it for granted.  Don't.  We're very lucky here in the "Lou".

Check it out!  It's playing until the 18th.


Written by Douglas Carter Beane
Directed by Gary F. Bell
Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Ave.
through December 18 | tickets: $18 - $20
Performances Thursday to Saturday at 8pm, final Saturday performances are at 2pm and 8pm

Sarajane Alverson (Alexa Vere de Vere), Martin Fox (Evan Wyler), Stephen Peirick (Man 1), Kevin Boehm (Man 2), Bess Moynihan, (Woman 1) and Anna Skidis (Woman 2).

Costumes by Gary F. Bell; set design by L.D.Lawson; lighting by Tyler Duenow; sound design by Justin Been; light and sound board operator, Justin Been; stage manager, Justin Been.

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