Nationals: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee to Tour U.S.

News   Nationals: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee to Tour U.S.
The Tony Award-nominated musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will launch a national tour next fall, has learned.

The Road Company is currently booking the new Broadway musical which is expected to launch next season. No venues or details have yet been announced.

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 (for the 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 original cast recording of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee including the entire Tony Award-nominated William Finn score features a bonus track "Why We Like Spelling" which was part of the Barrington Stage run but is not featured in the Broadway production. Ghostlight Records president Kurt Deutsch produced the album with Grammy Award winner Joel Moss.

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 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.

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