Uzo Aduba proved her vocal prowess with her performance as Glinda the Good Witch on NBC’s The Wiz Live!, and now she’s bringing those talents to a brand new musical.
Aduba will star as Rosaleen in a musical workshop production of The Secret Life of Bees, based on the 2004 novel by Sue Monk Kidd, EW can reveal. The workshop will be a part of Powerhouse Theater’s 2017 season.
A collaboration between Vassar College and New York Stage and Film, Powerhouse has been a breeding ground for some of the biggest hits on Broadway of the 21st century, including Hamilton, The Humans, American Idiot, and Doubt — all of which had their first looks and were developed at the theater.
The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily, the 14-year-old narrator of the story, and Rosaleen, a maid and surrogate mother to the teenager, as they run away from Lily’s abusive father and seek refuge in South Carolina with the Boatwright sisters, who teach Lily about beekeeping, honey, and the Black Madonna. In 2008, the best-selling novel was adapted into a film starring Jennifer Hudson as Rosaleen.
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The Secret Life of Bees features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat, Ruined), music by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), lyrics by Tony and Drama Desk nominee Susan Birkenhead (Ain’t Misbehavin’), and is directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home).
Aduba will be joined in the workshop production by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie winner Eisa Davis (House of Cards, Passing Strange), Sophia Anne Caruso (Lazarus, The Nether), Kecia Lewis (Dreamgirls, The Drowsy Chaperone), Tony Honors recipient Ben Davis (La Bohème, Thoroughly Modern Millie), and Odiseas Georgiadis.
The show will be performed for one weekend only, July 27-July 30. Following its workshop production, Bees will likely move forward into further development with an eye toward a fully-staged Broadway production.