Monday, June 13, 2011

“Humble Boy”: A Heartwarming Must “Bee” Seen

By Kristen Fogle

Everyone is “buzzing” about “Humble Boy,” the newest gem to come out of Escondido’s Patio Playhouse.

Based on Hamlet, the drama begins as so: Troubled but gifted Felix Humble returns to his family home in the English countryside after receiving word of the death of his father, James Humble. He arrives to discover that his mother, a persnickety (and sometimes downright acid tongued) Flora Humble, has rid the property of all her husband’s beloved bees. Flora blames Felix for a eulogy gone awry and essentially for being him in general. Felix learns that his mother is marrying a man named George Pye, not only the complete opposite of gentle, intellectual James, but also the father of his ex-girlfriend, Rosie Pye. As he relearns who she is after a seven year hiatus, she drops a bomb on him that may just force the bumbling but charismatic Felix to grow up.

There are far too many twists and turns in this inspired delight, written by Charlotte Jones, rife with wonderful metaphors about love, life, and the people that inhabit both. I would, however, be remiss to reveal them all here. It can be said though, that newcomer James Brust (Felix) skillfully portrays the distressed but lovable lead and accomplished veteran Renee Gandola adeptly depicts a mother who can only be described as impossible, but whom we empathize with when we glimpse that her life just hasd’t quite gone the way she’d planned. Krysti Litt’s Rosie is another notable talent, bringing a flirtatiousness and wit that is charming to see in her playful relationship with Felix. Additionally, the gardener (JJ Rowley) brings a special sensitivity and conveys a surprise that is at the very crux of this play...but I’ve said too much.

Perhaps my favorite part of this standout summer show, directed by PJ Anbey, is how the story lends itself to the space. Could there be a better name than Patio Playhouse to have a play set in a garden? As my first time here, I was impressed with the transformation of the stage into outdoor setting and with the immense following this quaint theater appears to retain.

A visit to see the bees, the Humbles, and the Patio is a definite must. Fly over for a chance to laugh, cry, and see one of those shows that truly touches the heart.

Patio Playhouse, 201 Grand Ave., Escondido, CA; 760-746-6669;
June 3-June 23; Fridays/Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 2
Students, seniors, military $13; Adults $15; Youth $7

ArtsNFashion presents "Welcome to Ramallah".  Coming 7 Sept 2012.  For Details and tickets visit

Free online subscription of the ArtsNFashion Magazine. ArtsNFashion Magazine
View Current Magazine
Purchase current/archived ArtsNFashion Magazine


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms