Atlanta Is Buzzing as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Plays the Alliance | Playbill

News Atlanta Is Buzzing as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Plays the Alliance
The cast of the national tour of the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee prepares for its upcoming cross-country jaunt with a run at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, starting Aug. 20.
Jennifer Simard
Jennifer Simard Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The "spellbinding" musical directed by James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) and created by composer-lyricist William Finn, librettist Rachel Sheinkin and conceiver Rebecca Feldman will run at the Georgia stage through Sept. 16.

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.

Jennifer Simard — who will play Rona Lisa Peretti — first told about her casting in the production July 6. The actress has appeared in the original Off Broadway casts of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Thing About Men and Forbidden Broadway S.V.U. as well as Dr. Sex.

Joining her in the cast will be Katie Boren (Broadway's ... Spelling Bee, Miss Saigon national tour) as Marcy Park, Miguel Cervantes as Chip Tolentino, Alan H. Green (Play On and national tours of Swing, Smokey Joe's Café) as Mitch Mahoney, James Kall (By Jeeves and Mamma Mia, Fiddler on the Roof tours) as Douglas Panch, Eric Peterson (regional runs of Hair, Oliver!) as William Barfee, Sarah Stiles (Broadway ...Spelling Bee and the world premiere musical of Vanities) as Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, Lauren Worsham (regionally in Bat Boy, She Loves Me, Candide) as Olive Ostrovsky and Michael Zahler as Leaf Coneybear.

Cities slated to see the bee include:

  • Baltimore, MD - Hippodrome Theatre (Sept. 19-Oct. 1)
  • Hartford, CT - Bushnell PAC (Oct. 3-8)
  • Charlotte, NC - Blumenthal PAC's Belk (Oct. 10-15)
  • Philadelphia, PA - Merriam Theatre (Oct. 17-22)
  • Indianapolis, IN - Murat Centre (Oct. 24-29)
  • Pittsburgh, PA - Heinz Hall (Oct. 31-Nov. 5)
  • Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre (Nov. 7-12)
  • Cincinnati, OH - Aronoff Center for the Arts (Nov. 14-26)
  • Dallas, TX - Majestic Theatre (Nov. 28-Dec. 3)
  • San Diego, CA - Civic Theatre (Dec. 5-10)
  • Reno, NV - Pioneer Center (Dec. 12-17)
  • Costa Mesa, CA - Orange County PAC (Dec. 9-31)
  • Portland, OR - Keller Auditorium (Jan. 2-7, 2007)
  • Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre (Jan. 9-14, 2007)
  • Tempe, AZ - ASU Gammage Auditorium (Jan. 30-Feb. 4, 2007)
  • San Antonio, TX - Majestic Theatre (Feb. 6-11, 2007)
  • Birmingham, AL - Civic Theatre (Feb. 12-18)
  • Louisville, KY - Kentucky Center (Feb. 20-25, 2007)
  • Newport News, VA - Ferguson Center (Feb. 27-March 4, 2007)
  • Nashville, TN - Andrew Jackson Hall @ TPAC (March 6-11, 2007)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center for the Performing Arts (March 13-25, 2007)
  • Tampa Bay, FL - Carol Morsani Hall @ TBPAC (March 27-April 1, 2007)
  • Fort Myers, FL - Barbara Mann Performing Arts Hall (April 3-8, 2007)
  • Orlando, FL - Carr Performing Arts Centre (April 10-15, 2007)
  • Schenectady, NY - Proctors Theatre (April 17-22, 2007)
  • Columbus, OH - Palace Theatre (April 24-29, 2007)
  • Kansas City, KS - Music Hall (May 1-6, 2007)
  • St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre (May 8-20, 2007) The original Broadway creative team will return for the Atlanta production and national tour. They include Beowulf Boritt (scenic), Jennifer Caprio (costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound). Dan Knechtges provides choreography. Jodie Moore joins as music director.

    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. Fogler and book writer Sheinkin took home awards for their work.

    Tickets for the Atlanta run are available by calling (404) 733-5000 or online at

    For more information on the musical tour, visit

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