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Scenes from the Bushnell

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee makes its CT premiere

September 12, 2006 – Producer David Stone is pleased to announce the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, coming to The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts from October 3 - 8 for 8 performances.  Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at The Bushnell Box Office, by calling (860) 987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org.  Groups of 20 or more should call (860) 987-5959.  The engagement is part of the Lincoln Financial Broadway Series.

SPELLING BEE is directed by James Lapine, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) who also directed the Broadway production.  The musical, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material written by Jay Reiss, features music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner William Finn (Falsettos, Elegies, A New Brain) and a Tony Award-winning book by Rachel Sheinkin.  SPELLING BEE features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier and choreography by Dan Knechtges.

With the launch of the national tour, there will be four North American companies of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (can you spell U-B-I-Q-U-I-T-O-U-S?).   While SPELLING BEE continues its Broadway run at the Circle in the Square Theatre, an open-ended engagement is running in Chicago at the Drury Lane Theatre/Water Tower Place and another starts performances in Boston at the Wilbur Theatre on September 26, 2006 .

In THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.  This tuneful, offbeat and at times heartwarming show offers audience members the opportunity (strictly voluntary) to become part of the action as on-stage spellers.  “Can you spell i-r-r-e-s-i-s-t-i-b-l-e?  SPELLING BEE is riotously funny and remarkably ingenious. Gold stars all around,” says the New York Times.  In the Wall Street Journal, SPELLING BEE was called, “perfect in every possible way – that rarity of rarities, a super-smart musical that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser. An ingenious blend of simplicity and sophistication, it’s not merely funny, it's wise.” 

Starring in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE are Katie Boren (Marcy Park), Miguel Cervantes (Chip Tolentino), Alan H. Green (Mitch Mahoney), James Kall (Douglas Panch), Eric Petersen (William Barfee), Jennifer Simard (Rona Lisa Peretti), Sarah Stiles (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre), Lauren Worsham (Olive Ostrovsky) and Michael Zahler (Leaf Coneybear). 

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE in based on C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, an original play by The Farm improv group in New York City .  SPELLING BEE had its world premiere production in July 2004 at Barrington Stage Company, Sheffield , MA .   Under the direction of James Lapine, SPELLING BEE officially opened Off-Broadway on February 7, 2005 at Second Stage Theatre, where it ran from January 11 through March 20, 2005 .  The show then moved to Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre (where it continues its run), with previews beginning on April 15, 2005 and an official opening on May 2, 2005 .  SPELLING BEE is produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, Barrington Stage Co. and Second Stage Theatre.


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