The hunt for Libby Price.

The hunt for Libby Price.

Rated 5.0

Bee-Luther-Hatchee is a novel play. The first half is an intriguing mystery, the second half a fascinating philosophical debate, all centered on the story of a reclusive best-selling author named Libby Price.

Celebration Arts takes the well-written script by Thomas Gibbons and adds a talented cast to produce a memorable production of this captivating story. It leaves you with much to ponder: Who has the right to a person’s story? And who is a legitimate voice of a community?

Bee-Luther-Hatchee is the title of an award-winning autobiography by Price—a secretive 72-year-old African-American woman—that turns into a much-beloved best seller.

The book is discovered by an ambitious young editor named Shelita Burns, who developed a warm, life-changing relationship with Price, even though she never actually met the author in person, only through mail. This changes, however, when Burns decides to track her down. The mystery is the hunt for Price, and the debate happens once they meet.

The play is challenging, and director James Wheatley handles the material well. But it’s the cast that elevates this play to another level—Mardres Story as the ambitious young editor Shelita Burns, Greg Koski as Burns’ only link to Libby Price (Bonnie Blane). Story and Koski’s interchange in the second half is mesmerizing; so much so that you find yourself agreeing with both their arguments about the rights and legitimacy of a life story.

The first half pulls the audience in as both Burns’ and Price’s lives unfold and questions start to arise. The only aspect that’s distracting is the slow and numerous scene changes. However, the second half, with no scene changes at all, solves the distraction, which leaves the audience to absorb the fascinating give-and-take between Story and Koski.