World Premiere Musical The Secret Life of Bees book by Lynn Nottage music by Duncan Sheik lyrics by Susan Birkenhead based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd directed by Sam Gold

The Secret Life of Bees

book by Lynn Nottage
music by Duncan Sheik
lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd
directed by Sam Gold

Linda Gross Theater

May 12 – July 21, 2019

A world premiere musical written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat), with music by Tony and Grammy Award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), lyrics by two-time Tony nominee and Drama Desk winner Susan Birkenhead (Jelly’s Last Jam), and directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home); based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd.

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A world premiere musical from a powerhouse creative team that brought you some of the greatest works of the past three decades: Sweat, Spring Awakening, Working  and Fun Home.

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.

Running time: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a brief intermission.

For access to sold out performances:

1. Enter the todaytix lottery

Enter our exclusive TodayTix lottery for daily access to $25 tickets for performances May 12 – July 7. Click here for more info.

2. try our cancellation line

There will be a cancellation line in person at our Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street) at all performances beginning 2 hours prior to curtain. Cancellation tickets are full price, subject to availability and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. Join our A-List

For limited access to sold out performances, consider joining Atlantic’s A-List with a donation of $1,750. Click here for more info.


“This is a lush & ardent work. Sheik again proves himself an adroit & flexible composer with a gift for ballads that seem to reach straight into your chest. Easily his best work since Spring Awakening .”

Alexis Soloski, The Guardian


 “The Secret Life of Bees  might have found its ideal form. It feels like an extended act of worship, a storytelling ritual less concerned with full mimesis than with communion & transcendence. It feels lifted & liberated.”

Sara Holdren, New York Magazine


“Sheik’s music is his best since Spring Awakening : rich & plangent, with contextual nods to gospel, pop and R&B. The songs are sung gorgeously by a cast that’s equally powerful in solo numbers & ensembles.”

Jesse Green, The New York Times


“A masterful, beautiful & captivating musical with a superb level of craftsmanship.”

Matt Windman, AMNY


“Some of the most gorgeous female-forward musical storytelling seen on a New York stage. The first-rate ensemble, dominated by women of color, sings the score with transporting spirit.”

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter


“This is one of those shows that sticks with you. Watching it is a little like going to a religious service — it gives you faith that the world could be a better place.”

Barbara Schuler, Newsday


“A glorious musical of faith, hope & honey! A picture of feminine strength, belonging & love. It makes for a richly rewarding hive — & show — that’s golden ambrosia.”

Frank Rizzo, Variety


“The bestselling novel is getting a powerful & heartfelt adaptation. I was moved by this production.”

Roma Torre, NY1

Photos by Ahron R. Foster

Member Log In

Click on the performance time of your choice to begin booking.

Click here for a full month calendar view.

Groups of 10+ begin at $55. For more information, click here.

All non-member tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Members may exchange tickets, based on availability.


Accessible tickets:

Back25 tickets for The Secret Life of Bees are sold out.

We are thrilled to announce that an additional allotment of $25 tickets will be made available daily via an exclusive TodayTix lottery for performances May
12 – July 7.

Stay tuned for more information regarding our accessible ticket initiatives in the 2019|2020 season. We are in the process of reviewing and growing our Back25 program to ensure we are connecting deeply and authentically with audiences from a broad range of economic backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and perspectives, and aim to provide even more meaningful access to all of our productions next season.

For more information about accessible seating, please call 646-216-1143.

For access to sold out performances, consider joining the Patron Program with a donation of $1,750. Contact Leah Cox at 646.216.1088 for more details.

* Post-show discussion
~ Black Theater Night