The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opened at the Circle in the Square Theatre May 2, 2005. The production, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss, played 21 previews and 1,136 previews before closing January 20, 2008. The musical comedy earned six Tony Award nominations, winning two including Best Book of a Musical in Rachel Sheinkin.
Based on The Farm’s original play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, Spelling Bee tells the tale of several socially awkward youngsters finding joy, heartache and a purpose in competing at the regional spelling bee. In addition to Sheinkin’s book, the musical features music and lyrics by William Finn.
Look Back at The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway
The original Broadway cast starred Derrick Baskin as Mitch Mahoney, Deborah S. Craig as Marcy Park, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Leaf Coneybear, Dan Fogler as William Barfee, Lisa Howard as Rona Lisa Peretti, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Olive Ostrovsky, Jose Llana as Chip Tolentino, Jay Reiss as Douglas Panch, and Sarah Saltzberg as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre.
Directed by James Lapine alongside resident director Darren Katz, Spelling Bee featured choreography by Dan Knechtges, set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, lighting design by Natasha Katz, and sound design by Dan Moses Schreier.