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Steven Culp in "As Bees in Honey Drown"

Friday, June 23, 2000 at 8:00 pm & Saturday, June 24, 2000 at 8:00 pm

Interact Theatre Company, Los Angeles, CA

Presented during the Interact's Pre-Construction Theatre Festival of the Interact Theatre Company
June 10 - June 25, 2000

During the festival Steven Culp participated in three staged readings of four plays.

Playwright by Douglas Carter Beane
Directed by Maggie Blanc

Sponsored by Matt Sullivan

Alexa Vere de Vere - Don Fischer
Evan Wyler - Steven Culp
Photographer, Swen,
Royalton Clerk, Kaden
- James McDonnell
Ronald, Skunk, Mike - Steven Gilborn
Amber, Backup Singer,
Secretary, Bethany,
2nd Muse
- Rachel Grifin
Waiter, Backup Singer,
Carla, Newsstand Woman,
Denise, Ilya, A Muse
- Mary Jo Mecca

As Bees in Honey Drown is a comedy about the pitfalls of the unquenchable hunger for fame. Eager almost-famous painters, singers, musicians, business managers, and, of course, authors—the occupation of the protagonist of this play—are displayed as easily trapped victims of con artists who promise big, but empty, dreams.

As Bees in Honey Drown is both fascinating and deeply flawed, an acutely self-concious mixture of irony, satire, and insider jokes that only a truly wayward student of fine arts, high literature, and American pop culture can actually appreciate.

The plot is satirical. Evan is a "hot" writer who's first novel lands him a photo shoot in a popular magazine--and this in turn leads him to a meeting with Alexa Vere de Vere, a incredibly sophisticated woman whose life seems to be ultimate statement of success. But Evan is naive and Alexa is a con who preys upon the newly famous. When Evan realizes he's been had, he sets out to uncover Alexa's origins and to expose her before the world... if, that is, he himself can escape the honey-trap of fame and the easy life.


Alexa Vere de Vere, a flashy con artist who captivates and takes advantage of the almost-famous, has a new target in mind: Evan Wyler, a young New York writer. Alexa meets with Evan, claiming to be a record producer and asking him if he will write a screenplay based on her glamorous life story; this will require him to follow her around and take notes. She promises him fame and fortune in return--the same things she has promised, but never given, to so many other hot young aspiring celebrities.

As Evan accompanies her, Alexa spends money in lavish and wasteful ways, eating and staying at the Royalton and buying new suits from Saks Fifth Avenue. At one point, Evan offers to pay for lunch, and she repays him with too much money. From then on, Evan uses his credit card to buy everything for Alexa; but while she promises to pay him back, she never does.

Evan is homosexual, but that does not stop Alexa from bringing passion and romance into the situation. On a ferry boat, a glimmer of romance begins and they end up sleeping together at the Royalton. Alexa then opens up about painful events in her life, giving Evan the last of the material he needs for the screenplay. They are scheduled to meet in LA to discuss the movie opportunities it involves when Evan Wyler is given notice that his credit card has been maxed out and Alexa has disappeared.

Evan plots revenge, with the help of other con victims. These include Morris Kaden, a record producer, Illya Mannon, a dancer, Ginny Cameron, an aspiring violinist, and Alexa's supposedly dead husband, Mike Stabinsky, who is actually alive and a painter living in New York. After they tell Evan who Alexa really is, they all plan to bombard Alexa at once to demand answers, using Ginny Cameron as a decoy to get her there. Unfortunately, Ginny gets nervous and blows the cover of the plan, so Alexa arrives at Evan's apartment to let him know the plan has been spoiled. She offers to bring him in on her schemes, but he refuses.

In the end, Alexa passes by a bookstore to see a cover using her common catchphrase, "As Bees in Honey Drown". She opens the cover to see Evan and the story of all the cons and schemes she has perpetrated in her life. The tricks she has played on the aspiring artists of New York are over because of the artistic writings of Evan Wyler.

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