The Secret Life of Bees
Closed 2h 30m
The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees NYC Reviews and Tickets

(181 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Great acting

About the Show

Based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd, Atlantic's world premiere musical comes from the creative team that brought you "Sweat," "Spring Awakening," "Working," and "Fun Home."

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Member Reviews (181)

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272 Reviews | 83 Followers
Gorgeous, Great singing, Masterful, Must see, Absorbing

See it if You want to see an absolutely superb cast tell a beautiful story. Duncan Sheik’s score is incredibly stunning. The voices of this cast A+++!

Don't see it if You don’t want to be transported back in time to a story of prejudice & violence. A story that is just as relevant today. Leaves you in awe.

84 Reviews | 19 Followers
Relevant, Masterful, Exquisite, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You love an intimately staged production and top-notch ensemble performances.

Don't see it if You’re uncomfortable with genuine emotion and/or bee puppetry.

119 Reviews | 29 Followers
Masterful, Intelligent, Great writing, Great singing, Meaningful

See it if you want to see a meaningful story with fabulous singing

Don't see it if you have a problem dealing with the cruel white redneck men of South Carolina in the 50s

239 Reviews | 197 Followers
Emotional, Great acting, Must see, Great singing, Enchanting

See it if you want to see an incredible production that pulls at your heart strings and has an incredible score. The cast is superb. A MUST SEE!!!

Don't see it if you not want to go through the emotions of a show about the civil rights movement.

110 Reviews | 34 Followers
Great staging, Intense, Riveting, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if You have a heart and a pulse. The singing blew me away within the first three minutes of the show and continued to delight until curtain.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable ugly crying in public - the show grabbed my heart and never let it go.

549 Reviews | 85 Followers
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you want a show that has incredible talent but also has something very important to say.Sometimes we forget how recent segregation was.

Don't see it if you ... I can't think of a reason NOT to see it.It is a tad too long. I would cut a bit off of each song. But that's my only criticism. Go!

311 Reviews | 45 Followers
Must see, Riveting, Great staging, Great singing, Great writing

See it if you want to see another wonderful show by the incredible Lynn Nottage, It is wise, powerful, though-provoking, Great music & singing, too!

Don't see it if Can't think of any reason not to see it!

57 Reviews | 2 Followers
Warm & uplifting, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if terrific adaptation to musical. Excellent cast. Didn't look at my watch once. Saw a 2nd time and like it even more, they've fixed any issues

Don't see it if if you don't like hearty singing - some of it soulful, some in a fabulous barnstorming way. If you don't like humanity/ emancipation themes

Critic Reviews (27)

The New York Times
June 13th, 2019

"The problem isn’t the added songs. The score, by Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead, is in fact quite beautiful...What’s more, the songs are sung gorgeously by a cast that’s equally powerful in solo numbers and ensembles. The problem is what the songs are added to, and how much had to be cut to make room for them...The absence of context is not ameliorated by Mr. Gold’s staging, which seems to scrape away all novelistic trappings as if they were ostentatious."
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Time Out New York
June 13th, 2019

"'The Secret Life of Bees' turns out to be all buzz and no sting...It leaves some of the city’s best voices without much to sing about...Their vocals are glorious but the show doesn’t seem to know what story it is telling, or how to tell it...One gets the sense that everyone involved is trying to avoid the suggestion that comes through in the show’s final image."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
June 13th, 2019

"Musical theater brings out all that’s effective about 'The Secret Life of Bees' while dexterously downplaying its less convincing elements...It’s always heartening to encounter a production that truly feels like a fruitful collaboration and whose various team members are all joyfully pulling their weight. Nottage and Birkenhead have shaped and sharpened Kidd’s story into a streamlined, sensitive play, and Sheik’s music is rich and rousing."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 13th, 2019

"Some of the most gorgeous female-forward musical storytelling seen on a New York stage in some time...The show features a book by two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage, a warm, expansively melodic score by Duncan Sheik, descriptive lyrics by Broadway veteran Susan Birkenhead and sensitive direction by Sam Gold...To say that this richly expressive dramatic piece is a workshop or two away from realizing its full potential should not be misread as a dismissal."
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June 13th, 2019

"The feeling of empowerment, uplift and solidarity could come across in lesser hands as maudlin, naive or simplistic. But this creative team and ensemble of performers create characters that are fresh, a credible story that is transformative and a spiritual center — enriched by a glorious and haunting score by Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead — that would make even a non-believer sing 'Hallelujah!'"
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The Observer
June 13th, 2019

"While this handsomely produced and sensitively acted musical—with a book by Lynn Nottage, lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, and a rich, soulful score by Duncan Sheik—has flashes of religious ecstasy, young love and forgiveness, mostly it produces too much treacle and too little sting...For all the musical pleasure in Sheik and Birkenhead’s songs, they don’t mesh closely enough with Nottage’s book to feel like they’re pushing the story or emotional terrain along."
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AM New York
June 13th, 2019

"A beautiful and captivating adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s 2001 coming-of-age novel...Unlike so many other musicals that are adapted without inspiration or invention, 'The Secret Life of Bees' is intently focused around having its characters open up and reveal themselves in songs and dialogue. Even if some of the plotting is choppy, the score and book demonstrate a superb level of craftsmanship, sensitivity to character and dramatic integration."
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June 13th, 2019

"The bestselling novel is getting a powerful and heartfelt adaptation...Director Sam Gold has assembled a bravura multi-talented company — many of them doubling and tripling as musicians, actors, and singers...As much as I was moved by this production and Sheik’s music is his best since 'Spring Awakening,' the book still needs some work. One more draft and I predict it will have a long sweet life."
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