"As Bees in Honey Drown" at Rising Action a Parable on the Temptations of Fame

As Bees in Honey Drown is a witty satire on the vagaries and temptations of fame in the late ‘90s, on the apparent necessity of personal reinvention, and on the impossible reconciliation of art and commerce. It remains compelling until the climax, even if the show's cynicism is ultimately too softened.

Alexa Van der Vere (Amy McKenna) is a carelessly wealthy, globetrotting record producer with a jet-black, Anna Wintour-style bob and a propensity to name-drop celebrity acquaintances. She targets and seduces young, almost-famous creative types so she can... what, exactly? We don't know until the second act; we just know something is up.

Her latest patsy is Evan Wyler, a Proust-reading gay novelist played with perfect bushy-tailed naiveté by Andrew Wind.

The production is backed by a mostly strong ensemble and above-average sound and lighting design. Under Avi Hoffman's guest direction, As Bees in Honey Drown is the sound of an artistically struggling theater making a significant leap forward.