Ghostlight Records president Kurt Deutsch and Grammy Award winner Joel Moss produced the album recorded April 5. The new William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman musical currently resides at Circle in the Square Theatre where previews began April 15 and opened May 2. James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) directs the spellbinding showdown with the same cast and crew from its recent Off-Broadway run.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 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 (Deborah S. Craig), Putnam Basin district second runner up Leaf Coneybear (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), Magna Magnet's gifted and unusual representative Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere (Sarah Saltzberg), last year's finalist (eliminated for health reasons) William Barfee (Dan Fogler), newcomer Olive Ostrovsky (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and last year's county champion Chip Tolentino (Jose Llana).
Also on hand at the showdown are comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney (Derrick Baskin), longtime local Bee hostess (and former champ) Rona Lisa Peretti (Lisa Howard) and word pronouncer, Lake Hemingway-Dos Passos Junior High Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Jay Reiss).
The The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee album includes the entire Tony Award-nominated William Finn score with a bonus track "Why We Like Spelling" which is not featured in the Broadway production. "[It's a] really fun song, we did it in Barrington," Tony-nominated librettist Rachel Sheinkin told Playbill.com. "If there were an intermission and it were two acts [on Broadway] we would definitely have put it in, but the choice was to go for the one-act, so a couple songs had to face the axe."
The track list is as follows: 1. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Company)
2. The Spelling Rules/My Favorite Moment of the Bee 1 (Panch, Rona & Spellers)
3. My Friend, the Dictionary (Panch, Rona, Olive & Company)
4. The First Goodbye (Company)
5. Pandemonium (Chip & Company)
6. I'm Not That Smart (Coneybear)
7. The Second Goodbye (Company)
8. Magic Foot (Barfee & Company)
9. Pandemonium Reprise/ My Favorite Moment of the Bee 2 (Chip, Mitch, Rona & Company)
10. Why We Like Spelling (Spellers)
11. Prayer of the Comfort Counselor (Mitch & Company)
12. My Unfortunate Erection (Chip's Lament) (Chip)
13. Woe Is Me (Schwarzandgrubeniere, Dads & Company)
14. I'm Not That Smart (Reprise) (Coneybear)
15. I Speak Six Languages (Marcy & Girls)
16. The I Love You Song (Olive, Rona as Olive's Mom, Mitch as Olive's Dad)
17. Woe Is Me (Reprise) (Schwarzandgrubeniere & Company)
18. My Favorite Moment of the Bee 3/ Second (Rona, Olive, Barfee & Company)
19. Finale (Company)
20. The Last Goodbye (Company)
David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Company and Second Stage Theater present the work on Broadway by composer William Finn (Falsettos), 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 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has 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 for the top prize of Best Musical.
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 and Little Women.
For more information, visit www.ghostlightrecords.com or www.spellingbeethemusical.com.