That's Pronounced Bar-Fay: Spelling Bee Road Star Gertner Comes to Broadway

News   That's Pronounced Bar-Fay: Spelling Bee Road Star Gertner Comes to Broadway The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will get a new star as Jared Gertner assumes the role of William Barfee Jan. 30.

The actor makes his Broadway debut in the role replacing Josh Gad. He previously played the part — created by Dan Fogler — for the San Francisco and Boston runs and appeared on the New York stage in My Favorite Year, Minimum Wage and Corduroy (for TheatreWorks USA).

Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton (the National Ambassadors for Kids' Night on Broadway) appear as guest spellers at the Jan. 30 7 PM performance to celebrate the 2007 Kids' Night on Broadway.

Directed by James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) and created by William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman, Bee plays the Circle in the Square Theatre.

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

Original cast members Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Lisa Howard, Jose Llana and Sarah Saltzberg are now joined by Barrett Foa, Greg Stuhr and Jessica Snow Wilson in the current cast. 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.

Spelling Bee, in its second year on the Broadway boards, has already played stints in San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta and currently enjoys an open-ended run at Chicago's Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place as well as a national tour.

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

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