Already closed | 2h 30m | Chelsea

The Secret Life of Bees

From 179 member  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." More…

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. 

Member Reviews (179)


Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Great acting

It's aint the second coming of the color purple, Slow, Ambitious

See it if new black theater stories interest you.

Don't see it if you thought you were coming to see a new musical because what you are getting is a PLAY with some really forgettable Duncan Sheik music

Interesting potential, Too long, Dull, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if Want to see a tribute to strong women in the face of southern racism circa 1960s. Don’t expect new insights or moving staging, Great voices

Don't see it if You expect fresh perceptions on racism, feminism, or the search for love. This is not a bad production, it just has little new to offer.

During previews

See it if You like Duncan Sheik's music (Spring Awakening, Alice by Heart). The vocal performances and acting are wonderful.

Don't see it if You want tunes you can hum and songs that serve the story. The book was wonderful but the music fell flat for me.

Also The gospel rock songs were crowd pleasers, largely due to the power of... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You loved the book & the movie and the story moves you

Don't see it if I saw it in previews & it needs some work so don’t see it if You are looking for an experience as meaningful as the book or movie.

During previews
Lacking depth, Great singing

See it if If you like rousing music, fine solo and ensemble singing. The drama of the show was poignant but lacked a depth of intensity.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals. You do like a complex dramatic story.

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 m...
read more
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...
read more
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 the...
read more
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 direct...
read more

Related content

Cast & Creatives (5)