“It’s not easy learning that winning (and losing) isn’t everything.”
No. No. No. This is not a real spelling bee. It’s a show—a hysterical musical comedy.
And Putnam County just happens to be the location of this fictional musical spelling bee–it is not meaning Putnam County, FL!
But it could have been. It could have been here—or anywhere. These could be our children. It could be you or your neighbor reading out the words, giving goofy definitions, and offering hilarious and sometimes poignant usage examples. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee takes spell-bound audiences to a fictional contest held in an elementary school where six unforgettably peculiar early children face each other in a competition supervised by three comically idiosyncratic grown-ups. Adding to the fun are four audience members who agree to appear as spellers. On Broadway, Al Sharpton and Julie Andrews were among them (Play Bill 1/27/2008). Flash backs show play goers the flawed parental relations which have shaped the pressure ridden spellers and reveal to audiences the real children behind their not-quite-polished public faces.
With a Tony Award winning book, this is a must-see finale for the Athens Theatre’s season.
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Additional Material by Jay Reiss
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Run time: 1 hours & 40 minutes (plus a 15-minute intermission)
Show running June 2-5 and June 9-12