Ecdysiasts Enter Broadway's Spelling Bee for "Adult Night" May 6

News   Ecdysiasts Enter Broadway's Spelling Bee for "Adult Night" May 6
"Definition: A striptease artist," reads the announcement from the The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which will present another mature-audiences-only performance May 6.

Dakota will make a special appearance at the adults-only Spelling Bee.
Dakota will make a special appearance at the adults-only Spelling Bee.

(Used in a sentence: "Politically correct Tom told his son, use Ecdysiast, the word 'stripper' is insulting.") "Two lovely guest spellers from Scores [a gentleman's club] take to the stage" as the Bee will go blue for the 7:30 PM performance. "Due to the mature material and politically incorrect humor, no one under age 16 will be admitted," advises a release.

Mo Rocca (as Vice Principal Douglas Panch) and Jennifer Simard (Bee coordinator Rona Lisa Perretti) lead the current cast that also features Jared Gertner, Aaron J. Albano, Stanley Bahorek, Jenni Barber, Sara Inbar, Greta Lee and James Monroe Iglehart.

James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) directs the musical created by William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman.

Jay Reiss — the actor who originated the role of Vice Principal Douglas Panch on Broadway and provided the definitions and (unhelpful) context sentences — previously described the special night's origins: "During rehearsals, I would occasionally cross the line a bit and use some material that was pretty filthy. The cast would crack up, and director James Lapine would say, 'That is so wrong.'"

* 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.

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 a run at Chicago's Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place as well as a national tour. The original Broadway cast will reunite for the upcoming Los Angeles stint at the Wadswworth Theatre (May 24-June 17).

For more information on the musical, visit

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