Rebecca Feldman conceived the musical, which had a workshop and production by Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts in 2004. The music and lyrics are by Tony Award-winner William Finn (who collaborated with Lapine to create Falsettos and A New Brain). The libretto is by Rachel Sheinkin.
Opening will be in early February 2005 at Off-Broadway's Second Stage, 307 W. 43rd Street.
"Six young people on the edge of puberty strive to become adults in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee — the funny, tender, sardonic musical by the composer of Falsettos," Second Stage announced. " These outsiders use competition to define themselves, apart from their crazy families, while their struggle to escape childhood is overseen by grown-ups who never completely succeeded in escaping it themselves."
Finn won two Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Falsettos. His most recent work, Elegies: A Song Cycle, premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre in spring 2003.
Lapine and Finn also collaborated on A New Brain for Lincoln Center Theater. Lapine worked with Stephen Sondheim as both librettist and director on the Broadway productions of Passion (Tony Award), Into the Woods (Tony Award) and Sunday in the Park With George (Pulitzer Prize). The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee had its world premiere under the direction of Michael Unger and Rebecca Feldman in July 2004 at Barrington Stage Company in Sheffield, MA. The Barrington Stage Company workshop was originally co-directed by Michael Barakiva and Rebecca Feldman.
Second Stage Theatre's 26th season starts Oct. 21 with a new production of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, directed by Leigh Silverman.
For Second Stage information, call (212) 246-4422, or visit www.secondstagetheatre.com.