As Bees In Honey Drown
The F.U.D.G.E. Theater company of Boston performed a limited engagement of As Bees in Honey Drown by Douglas Carter Beane this past weekend in the intimate confines of the South End's Factory Theatre.
Joey DeMita directed this dialog-intensive play about Evan Wyler (Ryan MacPherson), a young writer who must come to terms with his own insecurities as he latches onto an older woman with suspiciously endless means, the haughty Alexa Vere de Vere (Linda Goetz). The two form a complex bond that threatens to end Wyler's emerging career.
The pair have fantastic chemistry. MacPherson's boyish charm highlights Goetz natural intensity and worldliness. The part of Alexa is dense in monologues that must be delivered with precision and emphasis to avoid boring or confusing the audience. Goetz relishes them with such focus that she forms a palatable character with an intriguing center.
DeMita does a fantastic job with the limited performance space. The show is staged in a way that cast members not directly engaged in dialog are often left in their spaces while alternate scenes move forward, allowing the audience to essentially follow a character who is not currently "in play."
This scene-blending prevents what could be an awkward amount of entries and exits. Aside from Goetz and MacPherson’s solid performances, the company boasts a strong, versatile supporting cast. An astounding twenty characters are played between Frank Consolo, Ross Brown, Julia Bailey, and Milourdes Augustin.
Perhaps the show’s biggest hurdle is how much is packed into it, with dialog resembling a classic screwball comedy. The show is often quite funny, with a good number of literary and cultural references of varying obscurity interwoven cleverly throughout the dialog for those who can keep up with its density.
F.U.D.G.E. has scored another success as they’ve crafted an engaging piece of theater with a strong cast and skilled director ready to lead the audience through the duplicitous world of show business and sexual politics.
The F.U.D.G.E. production of Douglas Carter Beane’s "As Bees In Honey Drown" played for four performances, the weekend of Jan. 25 at the Factory Theatre.