Complete Cast Set For The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Off Broadway

News   Complete Cast Set For The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Off Broadway Flower Drum Song star Jose Llana has joined the company of William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's new musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for its New York premiere at Second Stage Theatre.

Jose Llana
Jose Llana

Director James Lapine (Into The Woods, Fran's Bed) reteams with his Tony Award-winning collaborator, Falsettos composer William Finn (A New Brain, Elegies: A Song Cycle). The new work is slated to begin Jan. 11, 2005 and open Feb. 7, 2005 for a run through March 6, 2005.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee follows "six young people on the edge of puberty [who] strive to become adults," according to show materials. The work made its world premiere production, under the direction of Michael Unger and Rebecca Feldman, at Sheffield, Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company in July 2004.

Llana — in the role originated by Robb Sapp (Zanna, Don't!) — joins the Barrington cast that featured Jesse Tyler Ferguson (On the Town), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Summer of 42, The Light in the Piazza), Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Jay Reiss and Sarah Saltzberg.

Featuring music and lyrics by Finn with a book by Rachel Sheinkin (Striking 12) from a concept by Rebecca Feldman, the musical will feature choreography by Dan Knechtges. Vadim Feichtner handles musical direction and orchestrations are by Michael Starobin. The design team includes Beowulf Boritt (scenic), Jennifer Caprio (costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound). The production stage manager is Andrea Testani.

Second Stage currenlty co-presents the Broadway staging of Reckless (with Manhattan Theatre Club at the Biltmore Theatre) and a revival of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (at its midtown home). The world premiere of Paul Weitz's Privilege (starting March 29, 2005) and Cheryl L. West's Birdie Blue starring "Law & Order" actress S. Epatha Merkerson (from May 31, 2005) will also fill the troupe's season. Tickets to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Second Stage, 307 West 43rd Street (just off 8th Ave.) are on sale at the box office and by phone at (212) 246-4422 or (800) 766-6048. For more information, visit www.SecondStageTheatre.com.

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