Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.
An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.
A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius.
"Effortlessly endearing.... Gold stars all around."
– The New York Times
"Composer-lyricist William Finn and book writer Rachel Sheinkin's winsome and winning new musical is so generously warm-hearted, only the most bitter misanthrope could resist its charms."
"Great news! The American musical comedy – with equal emphasis on the 'musical' part and the 'comedy' part – is alive and well.... A treat and a half."
Running time: 2 hours (with 15 minute intermission)
THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Friday April 26th
Saturday April 27th
Friday May 3rd
Saturday May 4th
Friday May 10th
Saturday May 11th
MEET THE CAST
music & lyrics
William Finn is the writer/composer of Falsettos (Tony winner for Best Original Score and Best Book) and Little Miss Sunshine, among others. He teaches a master class at NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.
Rachel Sheinkin collaborated with William Finn and the company to adapt C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E into this musical. She has been a Manhattan Theater Club Fellow and an adjunct faculty member at NYU's Musical Theater Writing Program. Other works include Striking 12, Blood Drive, and Serenade.
Andrew Cummings is a recipient of the Mask and Dagger Award for Extraordinary Contributions to the UC Berkeley Department of Theater and Performance Studies. He teaches English and Theater at Live Oak and works as a director and designer for several Bay Area theater companies.
Janell Cummings is a regular director for South Valley Civic Theater, where she recently won best director for her sold-out production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. She manages the technical aspects of the Live Oak Drama Guild and served as the director of the Nordstrom Theater Program in its heyday.