Kurt Deutsch, president of Ghostlight Records, produces the album which was recorded April 5 along with Grammy Award winner Joel Moss. "It is an honor to work with William Finn, who is one of America’s finest musical theatre composers," Deutsch said. "We hope to capture the energy, spirit and fun that makes Spelling Bee such a unique theatrical experience."
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee began New York performances at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theater Jan. 11 and opened Feb. 7 to positive critical and audience response. The run, which extended upon completely selling out in five days, will next transfer to Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre.
The new musical pits a motley mix of 10 contestants (six actors, four audience members) against each other in a battle for the championship of the local spelling competition. Also on hand at the showdown are a comfort counselor, the longtime Bee hostess (and former champ) and local junior high school vice-principal.
The cast of Spelling Bee includes Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Jose Llana, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jay Reiss and Sarah Saltzberg. Tony Award-winning Falsettos collaborators — composer William Finn and director James Lapine — reteam on the work with newcomer 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 will play at the Circle in the Square Theatre, which is located at 1633 Broadway (between 50 and 51 Streets).
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.