Entertainment » Theatre

Uzo Aduba Added to Vassar Cast of 'The Secret Life of Bees'

Wednesday Jul 12, 2017

Vassar & New York Stage and Film have announced the complete casting for the 33rd Powerhouse Season's highly anticipated musical workshop production of "The Secret Life of Bees":

  • Two-time Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba ("Orange Is The New Black") headlines the cast in the role of Rosaleen
  • Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie winner Eisa Davis ("House of Cards," "Passing Strange") as June
  • Sophia Anne Caruso ("Lazarus," "The Nether") as Lily
  • Kecia Lewis ("Dreamgirls," "The Drowsy Chaperone") as August
  • Tony Honors recipient Ben Davis ("La Bohème," "Thoroughly Modern Millie") as T. Ray
  • Odiseas Georgiadis as Zach
  • Ensemble featuring Akron Watson ("The Color Purple"), Rory Donovan ("Finding Neverland," "Elf"), and Peter Matthew Smith ("Hairspray," "Rent")

    Powerhouse has added a special Sunday matinee performance of "The Secret Life of Bees" by popular demand. The show will be presented in the Vogelstein Center for Drama & Film Thursday, July 27-30 at 2 p.m.

    As previously announced, "The Secret Life of Bees" is based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd, and features book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage ("Sweat," "Ruined"), music by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik ("Spring Awakening"), lyrics by Tony and Drama Desk nominee Susan Birkenhead ("Ain't Misbehavin'"), and directed by Tony winner Sam Gold ("Fun Home"). Casting by Telsey + Company / Patrick Goodwin, CSA.

    Vassar & New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse collaboration continues to be the launching pad for some of the most groundbreaking new works for the American theater, with countless productions in New York City, regionally and internationally. Notably, Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" and Stephen Karam's "The Humans" -- 2016 Tony® winners for Best Musical and Best Play, respectively -- received early development at Powerhouse.

    The 33rd Powerhouse Season features two mainstage productions in the Powerhouse Theater:

  • "Sacred Valley" (June 29-July 9) by Josh Radnor
    directed by Sheryl Kaller

    Narby and Natalie can't remember a time when they weren't friends. But their seemingly rock-solid friendship is upended when Narby takes Natalie's husband Brian out for his first mushroom trip. The next day, a confused Brian leaves Natalie, an enraged Natalie blames Narby, and three people are forced to ask themselves the deepest questions about love, friendship, and growing up in this bittersweet comedy from Josh Radnor ("Liberal Arts," "How I Met your Mother," Powerhouse's "The Babylon Line").

  • "Good Men Wanted" (July 20-July 30) by Kevin Armento, directed by Jaki Bradley, choreographed by Ani Taj

    "Good Men Wanted" brings to life the incredible true stories of renegade women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War. In a searing drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences set to contemporary pop music, five women of vastly different backgrounds become warriors and spies, endure prison camps and midnight raids, and ultimately intersect at America's most storied battlefield, Gettysburg. These unsung heroes circumvented the limitations of their time, with a boldness that speaks loudly to our own.

    The musical workshop presentations, presented in the Vogelstein Center for Drama & Film, include three exciting new projects:

  • "Stilyagi" (June 23-25) Lyrics by Lisa Kron
    music by Peter Lerman, based on the motion picture "The Hipsters," produced by Red Arrow Films, directed by Michael Mayer

    "This is musical about me, Mels Yefimovich Vasnetsov, about a difficult time in my life when I was young (hard to believe) and good looking (harder to believe) in no-longer-existing world of 1950s Moscow, when I was pulled from a promising future in Komosomol Leninist Youth Brigade by beautiful, corrupt and dissipated Stilyaga girl by name of Polly, who ruined my life in the best and worst possible manner, which, to this day, I am not reconciling. Obviously, this is a complicated Soviet story, not a fit subject for a frivolous American musical. But they ask for a blurb so here isa blurb so if you are interested, please, I invite you, come. But if you ask me this is a terrible idea."

  • "This Ain't No Disco" (June 30 - July 2)
    music and lyrics by Stephen Trask & Peter Yanowitz
    book by Stephen Trask & Peter Yanowitz and Rick Elice directed by Trip Cullman

    Set against the garbage strikes, the grit, the graffiti of NYC 1979, "This Ain't No Disco" tells the story of drifters and dreamers who search for their place in the night world of Studio 54 and the Mudd Club. Ultimately, it's about finding community and purpose in a city where one's fate can turn on a dime bag, where every few steps gives you a chance to pick a new direction, to take a new path. From the creator of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and the director of "Six Degrees of Separation."

  • "The Secret Life of Bees" (July 27-30) Book by Lynn Nottage, music by Duncan Sheik
    lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
    based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd, directed by Sam Gold

    It's 1964 in South Carolina, and restless white teenager Lily Owens wrestles with her controlling father and a haunting memory of her dead mother. When Rosaleen, her Black caretaker, is beaten and jailed for attempting to vote, Lily's rebellious spirit is awakened and she and Rosaleen escape their circumstances on an adventure, to find the truth about her mother's death. One portentous clue leads them to a colorful bee farm run by three eccentric and spiritual Black sisters, whose wisdom, warmth and motherly love help both Lily and Rosaleen grow and heal. Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage, lyrics by Tony and Drama Desk nominee Susan Birkenhead, composed by Tony Winner Duncan Sheik, and directed by Tony winner Sam Gold.

    For tickets and information, visit Powerhouse.Vassar.edu


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