Bee Season: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Starts New Summer Schedule

News   Bee Season: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Starts New Summer Schedule
Broadway's "tween" angst musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will commence a new summer schedule July 11 to include a Monday evening performance in lieu of Sunday.

The new schedule, effective July 11-Sept. 4, will be as follows: Mondays at 8 PM, Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesdays at 2 and 8 PM, Thursdays at 8 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM with Sundays dark.

The new William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman musical currently resides at Circle in the Square Theatre where previews began April 15 and opened May 2. James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) directs the spellbinding showdown with the same cast and crew from its recent Off-Broadway run.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee pits 10 contestants (six actors, four audience members) against each other in a battle for the championship of the local spelling competition. Among the cast playing the pre-pubescent brainiacs are Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sarah Saltzberg, Dan Fogler, Celia Keenan Bolger and Jose Llana.

Also on hand at the showdown are comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney (Derrick Baskin), longtime local Bee hostess (and former champ) Rona Lisa Peretti (Lisa Howard) and word pronouncer, Lake Hemingway-Dos Passos Junior High Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Jay Reiss).

David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theater present the work on Broadway by composer William Finn (Falsettos), librettist Rachel Sheinkin (Striking 12) on a concept by Rebecca Feldman. Based on an original play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E by The Farm, the musical made its world premiere production — under the direction of Michael Unger and Feldman — at Sheffield, Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company in July 2004.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has earned six Tony Award nominations including Best Score, Best Book, Best Direction, Best Featured Actor (Dan Fogler) and Featured Actress (Celia Keenan-Bolger) as well as for the top prize of Best Musical. Fogler and bookwriter Sheinkin earned took home awards for their work.

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A scene from <i>The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee</i>
A scene from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Photo by Joan Marcus
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