Duncan Sheik To Set ‘Secret Life Of Bees’ Buzzing With New Music For Off Broadway Bow


The Secret Life of Bees, a new musical based on the best-selling novel and with music by Dunan Sheik, will make its world premiere next May at the Atlantic Theater Off-Broadway. The production will be directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home).

The musical, with a book by Lynn Nottage and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd, is part of the Atlantic’s 2018-19 season announced today, a roster that includes The Mother, a new play starring Oscar-nominated actress Isabelle Huppert.

Sheik’s 2006 Spring Awakening won the Tony Award for Best Musical. His 2016 American Psycho, though, was a Broadway flop.

Bees would seem altogether likelier musical material than the bloody, bloody American Psycho. Kidd’s 2001 novel, set in 1964, was adapted into a 2008 film starring Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah, and tells the story of, as the Atlantic describes it, “a restless white teenager [who] struggles with her merciless father and the haunting memory of her mother’s death. When Rosaleen, her black caregiver, is beaten and jailed for asserting her right to vote, Lily’s rebellious spirit is ignited. She and Rosaleen escape on an adventure where they are taken in by a trio of black beekeeping sisters. While Lily tries to unlock the secrets of her past, she and Rosaleen find solace in the mesmerizing world of bees and spirituality in this extraordinary tale of awakening, fellowship and healing.”

The world premiere musical, supported in part by the National Fund for New Musicals and funding from the Hollywood Pantages, will begin performances at the Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater on May 10, 2019, with a closing date of June 23. An official opening date is to be announced.

In addition to The Secret Life of Bees, productions on the Atlantic Theater Company’s 2018-19 slate announced today are:

World Premiere Play
By Donja R. Love
Directed by Saheem Ali
Linda Gross Theater
September 26 – November 11, 2018
Opening: Monday, October 15, 2018
Somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky is on fire. A pregnant Olivia’s fierce speech writing is the sole force behind her charismatic husband Charles and his successful Movement to galvanize people to march towards freedom. When four little girls are bombed in a church, Olivia and Charles’ marriage is threatened – as this tragedy and years of civil unrest leave Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child.”

Fireflies is a startling world premiere by Donja R. Love, and the second part of a trilogy beginning with Sugar in Our Wounds (upcoming at MTC’s Studio at Stage II). Saheem Ali (Sugar in Our Wounds) directs.

World Premiere Play
By Abby Rosebrock
Directed by Taibi Magar
Featuring Tony Award Nominee Marin Ireland
Linda Gross Theater
December 12 – January 27, 2019
Opening: Monday, January 7, 2019
A progressive high-school teacher with a rage problem retaliates against her unscrupulous boss and is sentenced to six months at a church-sponsored halfway house, where she attends to everyone’s recovery but her own. Set in Southern Appalachia, Blue Ridge is a pitch-dark comedy about heartbreak, hell-raising and healing by Abby Rosebrock, featuring Marin Ireland.

Blue Ridge was Developed at Williamstown Theatre Festival as part of the Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship/Drama League Residency.

World Premiere Play
Written by and Featuring Amy Staats
Directed by Margot Bordelon
Atlantic Stage 2
January 10 – February 10, 2019
Opening: Tuesday, January 22, 2019
A raucous retelling of the rise and fall of Pasadena’s most groundbreaking ’80s rockers told through the foggy lens of a lonely, out of work MTV-VJ. Eddie and Dave is a gender-bending new play by Amy Staats about hubris, friendship, family, fame, musical genius and what happens when the person you need is the one you find most irritating.

Eddie and Dave is supported by the Venturous Theater Fund of Tides Foundation.

US Premiere Play
By Florian Zeller
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Trip Cullman
Featuring Academy Award Nominee Isabelle Huppert
Linda Gross Theater
February 20 – April 7, 2019
Opening: Monday, March 11, 2019
Can one love one’s son too much? Anne has given everything to the family she’s built. Now the years have gone by, and her children have grown up and have lives and loves of their own, leaving her alone in a world that is crumbling around her.

Starring Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert (Elle), The Mother is a captivating and disquieting new play about a woman grasping for stability by acclaimed French writer Florian Zeller (The Father), translated by Christopher Hampton (Atonement) that will leave you questioning the very nature of reality.

New York Premiere Play
By Carla Ching
Atlantic Stage 2
May 22 – June 23, 2019
Opening: Monday, June 3, 2019
In the not-so-sunny side of California, Alix bounces between motel rooms, taking care of her brothers for her mostly MIA mother. Her classmate Mason is a budding songwriter trying to keep off the radar of his absent father in Hong Kong. Together, they must learn to scrape by without giving up their dreams. This New York Premiere by Carla Ching is a surprising tale of kids raising themselves and making something out of nothing in the land of plenty.

Nomad Motel was presented as part of Atlantic’s 2017 Asian American MixFest.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2018/05/duncan-sheik-the-secret-life-of-bees-off-broadway-atlantic-theater-company-isabelle-huppert-1202393021/