Alma Collins’ ‘Strong Like Honey’ Offers Strength Sweetened by Hard Won Insights

By Ernest Kearney — In her engaging and exquisitely performed account of how circumstances thrust her into serving as her mother’s caretaker for a quarter century, Alma Collins travels a road dreaded by all, but which many will, one day, be on.

In sharing with audiences how life led her to this challenge, and how she met it, Collins offers invaluable insights, in this current Hollywood Fringe staging at the Hudson Theatre, and shows us that if we do not allow bitterness to blind us, the journey can hold priceless discoveries.

Collins, with her single mother, lived in the Venice, California; home of her Grandmother Honey. It tickled my ears to hear her speak of those places now gone forever except in the memories of those of a certain age who experienced them: Pacific Ocean Park, Sinbad’s restaurant, the Alligator Farm.

To Collins, as to me, it was a magical time to live in this city.

Alma Collins performs in “Strong Like Honey

But Collins reveals early on, that “magical” does not mean “perfect.”

“I don’t know why Honey had such a sweet name,” she confesses, acknowledging an abusive side to her grandmother who would “beat my behind like it was her part-time job.”

Many solo shows are akin to a postcard from some period of the performer’s life, narrow in both the narrative’s focus and audience appeal.

Not so Strong Like Honey.

When Collins shares her life with us, she never overloads, never bores. What she does share, she shares like a silken thread, binding us to the specifics of her very specific story in a weaving as firm, as intricate and as beautiful as a spider’s web.

Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

Under Adilah Barnes’ astute direction there is not one unnecessary word uttered, not one unneeded remembrance presented in Collins’ love sonnet to the humanity that humankind is capable of.

Long after leaving the theater, the beauty of Collins’ performance will stay with you, and hopefully her message; that in giving ourselves to others is where our own salvation is found, even longer.

For Strong Like Honey a GOLD MEDAL.


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Alma Collins’ Strong Like Honey

On Stage

Sunday August 22 2021, 4:30 PM

Hudson Theatres

6539 Santa Monica Boulevard

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For Tickets and Additional Information Go To:

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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