‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ is a must see

‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ musical poster. Photo by THERESA KIM

 

The long awaited musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” opened its doors Feb 2 at 7 p.m. The show began with the cast singing the title song. The musical being a Tony Award winner, as well as a world famous musical had high expectations. Despite being a small cast of only 9 performers, per group, the musical was off to a great start.

The musical takes place at Putnam Valley Middle School where six students compete in order to go to the nationals. The characters include Rona Lisa Perretti, Chip Tolentino, Logaine Schwartzandgrubenniere, Leaf Coneybear, William Barfee, Marcy Park, Olive Ostrovsky, vice principal Patch, and Mitch Mahoney — as well as a few members from the audience. There are two groups that perform, the maroon cast and the gold cast, but William Barfee, Leaf Coneybear, Mitch Mahoney, and Vice Principal Patch are played each by one actor in all performances.
I thought the musical was just plain hilarious. What I really enjoyed was the involvement of the audience as well as the catchy songs in the musical. What really made this musical interesting despite the small cast was the involvement of the audience. Few members from the audience were chosen to take part in the musical. A few were chosen to spell words on stage;  some were difficult and some were simple and easy, such as ‘cow.’ The only thing that was unplanned during the musical was when one of the volunteers spelled a word correctly when they wanted all the volunteers to drop before intermission. And every time someone spelled a word incorrectly, Mitch Mahoney, played by Spencer Diegert, would comfort them and give them a juice box.
Chip, played by Michael Ewing from the maroon cast and Nick Manlowe from the gold cast, also threw chocolate and sang while walking up and down the aisles.All the actors and actresses did a phenomenal job, but one actor that stood out for me was Leaf Coneybear, played by Scott Padian. He was really funny and I enjoyed watching his performance. His character was really kind and random, and I think that’s what makes me more attracted to him.
But my favorite part is when Logainne prays to Jesus and Jesus, enters. It was really hilarious and unexpected. I also liked all of the songs in the musical; they are really catchy and hilarious. My favorite song is “The I Love You Song”, it expresses Olive’s feelings toward her parents. The song is really catchy and emotional and I couldn’t get it out of my head even after the musical. The performance was really funny and I really enjoyed watching it.
Compared to last year’s musical “Bye Bye Birdie”, this show had a smaller cast as well as had more catchy songs. I think that “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is a wonderful production. It’s a wonderful laugh-out-loud comedy that you can enjoy as well as be part of. I think that it will be the best $8 you can spend on a school event. The show times are always at 7 p.m.,but  be sure to check their schedule on the WHS website. The show runs until Feb. 17, so be sure to see it while you can.

 

By THERESA KIM