Kurt Deutsch, president of Ghostlight Records, will produce the album set to be recorded April 5 along with Grammy Award winner Joel Moss. "It is an honor to work with William Finn, who is one of America’s finest musical theatre composers," Deutsch said. "We hope to capture the energy, spirit and fun that makes Spelling Bee such a unique theatrical experience."
Ghostlight — created by Sh-K-Boom Records to concentrate on more traditional theatre fare — has previously recorded cast albums for Finian's Rainbow, The New Moon and Broadway's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (with Dirty Rotten Records) and Little Women.
For more information, visit www.ghostlightrecords.com or www.spellingbeethemusical.com.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee began New York performances at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theater Jan. 11 and opened Feb. 7 to positive critical and audience response. The run, which extended upon completely selling out in five days, will next transfer to Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre.
David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theater will present the work, starting previews April 15 and opening May 2. The new musical pits 10 contestants (six actors, four audience members) against each other in a battle for the championship of the local spelling competition. Among the pre-pubescent brainiacs are multi-lingual national finalist Marcy Park, Putnam Basin district second runner up Leaf Coneybear, Magna Magnet for the gifted and unusual representative Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere, last year's finalist (eliminated for health reasons) William Barfee, newcomer Olive Ostrovsky and last year's county champion Chip Tolentino.
Also on hand at the showdown are comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney, longtime local Bee hostess (and former champ) Rona Lisa Peretti and Lake Hemingway-Dos Passos Junior High Vice Principal Douglas Panch.
Tony Award-winning Falsettos collaborators — composer William Finn and director James Lapine — reteam on the work with newcomer 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 cast of Spelling Bee includes the original Barrington cast that featured Jesse Tyler Ferguson (On the Town), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Summer of 42, The Light in the Piazza), Derrick Baskin (Memphis), Deborah S. Craig (WaVe, The Karaoke Show), Lisa Howard (Les Misérables national tour) and original C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E castmates Dan Fogler (Joe Fearless), Jay Reiss and Sarah Saltzberg (The Donkey Show) as well as Flower Drum Song star Jose Llana.
With music and lyrics by Finn with a book by Sheinkin (Striking 12) from a concept by Feldman, the musical features 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), Dan Moses Schreier (sound) and Marty Kopulsky (hair and wig). The production stage manager is Andrea Testani.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will play at the Circle in the Square Theatre, which is located at 1633 Broadway (between 50 and 51 Streets).