Featured Review: As Bees in Honey Drown

Sarajane Alverson, Martin Fox and Stephen Peirick get undressed to impress.
John Lamb
Sarajane Alverson, Martin Fox and Stephen Peirick get undressed to impress.

Featured Review: As Bees in Honey Drown A meditation on the cult of celebrity and the perceived value of sizzle versus steak, Douglas Carter Beene's satirical comedy relates the seduction of young author Evan (Martin Fox) by the fabulously affected Alexa Vere De Vere (Sarajane Alverson). Alexa swoops in on clouds of dropped names and scattered hundred-dollar bills, offering Evan the chance to write the screenplay for her biopic — the fact that the deal includes entrance to the glossy world beyond the velvet rope is the 24-karat carrot Evan greedily pursues. Alverson smoothly navigates Alexa's curlicues of dialogue, but the character is such a cartoonishly glitzy monster that the play feels uneven; she's swanning about, declaiming ludicrous bons mots to the room while Fox plays Evan with naturalistic realism. One of them seems to be misplaced, but who is it? Alexa's declarations of intent, such as "Fame without achievement is the safest thing I know," bring wry laughs, and Kevin Boehm's turn as nutball music executive Morris Kadon is right on the money. Presented by Stray Dog Theatre through December 18 at the Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee Avenue. Tickets are $20 ($18 for students and seniors). Call 314-865-1995 or visit www.straydogtheatre.org. — Paul Friswold

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