"SNL" Regular Hammond to Replace Rocca in Broadway's Spelling Bee

News   "SNL" Regular Hammond to Replace Rocca in Broadway's Spelling Bee
 
"Saturday Night Live" star Darrell Hammond will make his Broadway debut this summer when he assumes the role of Vice Principal Douglas Panch in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Darrell Hammond
Darrell Hammond Photo by NBC

Replacing current star Mo Rocca (who departs June 10) in the role, Hammond will play his stint June 12-July 19.

He joins the current cast which features Jennifer Simard (Forbidden Broadway) as Bee coordinator Rona Lisa Perretti. The ensemble cast also includes Aaron J. Albano (Wicked national tour, Bombay Dreams) as Chip Tolentino, Stanley Bahorek (Big River national tour, A Little Night Music) as Leaf Coneybear, Jenni Barber (Henry and Mudge, The High Life) as Olive Ostrovsky, Jared Gertner (Anatomy 1968, My Favorite Year) as William Barfee, Sara Inbar (Mamma Mia!, Lizzie Borden) as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Greta Lee (No Boundaries - NYMF) as Marcy Park and James Monroe Iglehart (Showboat national tour, Memphis) as Mitch Mahoney.

Hammond — a regular "SNL" cast member for 12 seasons — is known for his impersonations of Regis Philbin, Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more. He has appeared in the films "The Devil and Daniel Webster," "Scary Movie 3," "Agent Cody Banks" and "Epic Movie" among others.

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The musical directed by James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) opened on Broadway May 2, 2005, at the Circle in the Square Theatre following previews from April 15. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee pits ten contestants (six actors, four audience members) against each other in a battle for the championship of the local spelling competition.

Spelling Bee was based on C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an original play created by Rebecca Feldman and the comedy troupe The Farm. Composer-lyricist William Finn provides the score to the musical incarnation with a book by librettist Rachel Sheinkin.

The musical 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 a nomination for the top prize of Best Musical. Fogler and book writer Sheinkin took home awards for their work.

For more information on the musical, visit www.spellingbeethemusical.com.

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