Theater News

LaChanze Cast in Lynn Nottage and Duncan Sheik's The Secret Life of Bees

Saycon Sengbloh, Joe Cassidy, and Elizabeth Teeter are also set for the production.

LaChanze joins the cast of The Secret Life of Bees.
LaChanze joins the cast of The Secret Life of Bees.
(© David Gordon)

Atlantic Theater Company has announced casting for the world premiere production of The Secret Life of Bees, featuring a book by Lynn Nottage (Sweat), music by Tony and Grammy Award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), lyrics by Drama Desk winner Susan Birkenhead (Jelly's Last Jam), and direction by Tony Award winner Sam Gold (King Lear). The new musical, which begins previews May 12 at the Linda Gross Theater and will open June 13 for a limited engagement through July 7, is based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd.

The Secret Life of Bees will feature Romelda Teron Benjamin (Bare: A Pop Opera), Joe Cassidy (Waitress), Vita E. Cleveland (off-Broadway debut), Obie Award winner Eisa Davis (Passing Strange), Matt DeAngelis (Waitress), Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd), Brett Gray (Netflix's On My Block), Jai'Len Christine Li Josey (SpongeBob SquarePants), Tony Award winner LaChanze (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Anastacia McCleskey (Waitress), Tony Award nominee Saycon Sengbloh (Eclipsed), and Elizabeth Teeter (The Crucible). Additional casting is to be announced.

The Secret Life of Bees is described as follows: "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."

The creative team for The Secret Life of Bees will be announced at a later date.