The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is cheerful, humorous, and B-U-Z-Z worthy entertainment the whole family will enjoy!

Limelight Theatre, July 21st – August 20th

For tickets, & more information: http://limelight-theatre.org/
Running Time: One hour and 45 minutes with intermission

This was my first time attending a show at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The atmosphere intimate and quaint as the room was full of conversation over flutes of champagne and excitement for the show. When the time came I made my way to Row C Seat 7 taking in all of my surroundings waiting for the show to begin. The buzz escalated as executive director Beth Lambert kicked off the evening by welcoming the crowd and thanking all of the volunteers, patrons, and contributors for making the evening and show happen. After an uplifting thank you, the lights went down and the spelling competition of the year began.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee based on the book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn, takes the audience on the road to the glory of becoming the spelling bee champion representing the county in Washington! Along the way we meet charming, loveable, and quirky competitors like William Barfée (Johnathan Perez) who’s name is forever mispronounced by the judges Vice Principal Douglas Panch (Tom Ming) who is “better now” and proud former spelling be champ Rona Lisa Peretti (Katy Polk.) Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre (Anastasia Costas) lisps her way through the competition while trying to live up to the expectations of her two very competitive gay dads. While perfectionist Marcy Park (Kathleen Reyes) has way surpassed the typical overachiever as an All-American hockey player who speaks six languages. Chip Tolentino (Zachary Polendo) is a hormonal boy scout showing us the hilarity of going through the peaks of puberty. Exhibiting creative “smarts” through his own clothing designs, Leaf Coneybear (Zachary Racine) rocks a helmet, roller shoes and Capri-Sun cape as he blurts out his answers. Longtime friend of the dictionary Olive Ostrovsky (Gemma Smith) struggles with missing her globe trotting mother and workaholic father hoping that winning the title will help get their attention. And maybe my favorite character, the now acting “Comfort Counselor” Mitch (Michael Cejvanovic) is an ex-con serving out his community service by saying “Goodbye” with tough love and a juice box to losing spellers.

A wonderfully unique aspect to the show was including spelling bee contestants selected from the audience with hilarious background stories of their own and words to spell ranging from “cow” to some scary words that not only I couldn’t remember but, that would make even the most impressive speller sweat!

This fun story was not just told through dialogue but spelled out in lively and heart felt musical numbers allowing the audience to connect with each character. The opening number, self titled “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” by the cast set the stage with a great impression. As the evening continued fun and entertaining numbers like “I’m Smart,” “Magic Foot,” “My Friend the Dictionary” while other numbers tugged at heartstrings like the beautiful “The I Love You Song.”

The word (or in this case title): The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Origin: Based on the book by Rachel Sheinkin and music and lyrics by William Finn
Used in a sentence: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is cheerful, humorous, and B-U-Z-Z worthy entertainment the whole family will enjoy!

Get your tickets to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee showing until August 20th for a chance to show off your spelling skills, delight in the enchanting atmosphere and meet all of the friendly faces of The Limelight Theatre!

 

About Morgan Bates

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