This Week on Broadway for June 23, 2019: The Secret Life of Bees @ Atlantic Theater Company

Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk about The Secret Life of Bees @ Atlantic Theater Company, Transport Group’s Sweet Charity in Concert, The Mountains Look Different @ Mint Theater Company, Stonewall @ New York City Opera, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Gala, Long Lost @ Manhattan Theatre Club, and Peter’s Trip to Alaska for The Last Frontier Theater Conference



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Peter Filichia | [email protected] | Facebook
PETER FILICHIA is a theater journalist and historian with a number of books, his most recent is, “The Great Parade”, available everywhere. His play, God Shows Up is now in performance at The Actor’s Temple Theatre on 47th Street. His columns appear at MTIMasterworks BroadwayBroadway Select and many other places.

James Marino | [email protected] | Twitter | Facebook

Michael Portantiere | [email protected] | Facebook
MICHAEL PORTANTIERE is a theater reviewer and essayist. He is also a theatrical photographer whose photos have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications. You can see his photography work at


Notes and links for the podcast.




PF: The Secret Life of Bees @ Atlantic Theater Company, Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street, through July 21, 2019
Book by Lynn Nottage, music by Duncan Sheik, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, directed by Sam Gold, based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees features Romelda Teron Benjamin (Bare: A Pop Opera), Joe Cassidy (Waitress), Vita E. Cleveland (Off-Broadway debut), Obie Award winner Eisa Davis (Passing Strange, NBC’s “Rise”), Matt DeAngelis (Waitress), Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd, Amélie, A New Musical), Brett Gray (Netflix’s “On My Block”), Jai’Len Christine Li Josey (SpongeBob SquarePants – The Musical), Tony Award winner LaChanze (The Color Purple, Summer), Anastacia McCleskey (Waitress), Tony Award nominee Saycon Sengbloh (Eclipsed, In the Blood), Nathaniel Stampley (Superhero), and Elizabeth Teeter (The Crucible).

MP: Transport Group production of Sweet Charity in Concert @ June 17, 2019
Directed by Jack Cummings III, musical direction by Joey Chancey

PF + MP: The Mountains Look Different @ Mint Theater Company, Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, through July 14, 2019
By Micheál mac Liammóir
Directed by Aidan Redmond

The Mountains Look Different, Talkin’Broadway Theatre Review by Michael Portantiere – June 20, 2019

MP: Stonewall @ New York City Opera

MP: Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Gala, Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm @ Alice Tully Hall

Stephen Sondheim to be Honored at American Songbook Gala | Playbill

PF: Long Lost @ Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street, through
by Donald Margulies
Directed by Daniel Sullivan
Kelly AuCoin, Annie Parisse, Lee Tergesen, Alex Wolff

PF: Trip to Alaska for The Last Frontier Theater Conference






Post Script:

Michael’s Music Moment:


Coming Soon: 

Explicit: No


Atlantic Theater Company: The Secret Life of Bees
Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Published on Jun 19, 2019
South Carolina, 1964. Lily Owens, a restless white teenager, 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.

Prior to the world premiere, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning writer Lynn Nottage (“Sweat”), Tony and Grammy Award winning composer Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”), two-time Tony nominee and Drama Desk winning lyricist Susan Birkenhead (“Jelly’s Last Jam”), and Tony winning director Sam Gold (“Fun Home”) discussed their collaboration and creative process of turning Sue Monk Kidd’s best-selling novel into a musical. Cast members performed highlights.

PANEL (in alphabetical order)
Susan Birkenhead, lyrics
Sam Gold, director
Lynn Nottage, book
Duncan Sheik, composer
Whitney White, moderator/associate director

PERFORMERS (in alphabetical order)
Brett Gray
Elizabeth Teeter

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