The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
pits ten contestants (six actors, four audience members) against each other in a battle for the championship of the local spelling competition. Among the pre-pubescent brainiacs are multi-lingual national finalist Marcy Park, Putnam Basin district second runner up Leaf Coneybear, Magna Magnet for the gifted and unusual representative Logainne Schwarzandgrubeniere, last year's finalist (eliminated for health reasons) William Barfee, newcomer Olive Ostrovsky and last year's county champion Chip Tolentino. Also on hand at the showdown are comfort counselor Mitch Mahoney, longtime local Bee hostess (and former champ) Rona Lisa Peretty and word pronouncer, Lake Hemingway-Dos Passos Junior High Vice Principal Douglas Panch.
Circle in the Square on Broadway became the musical's third home following its world premiere production at Sheffield, Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company (in July, 2004) and sold out Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theater (Jan-March, 2005).
The cast of Spelling Bee includes Jesse Tyler Ferguson ("Modern Family"), Celia Keenan-Bolger, Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Lisa Howard, Jose Llana, Dan Fogler, Jay Reiss and Sarah Salzberg.
Tony Award-winning Falsettos collaborators -- composer Finn (A New Brain) and director Lapine -- re-teamed on the work with newcomer librettist Rachel Sheinkin. Rebecca Feldman is credited with the concept, based on her troupe The Farm's original play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E. Actor Reiss is credited with additional material (for his "unhelpful" contextual sentences).