The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a fun musical about the struggles of being a child in an extremely competitive environment. The play is Directed by Kathleen Clawson and Choreographed by Donna Jewell.
An important element in this play is the audience volunteer participation. In each performance there are four audience members that are chosen to participate in the Spelling Bee. This makes for some hilarious situations, and it makes the show a little different each night.
Each individual member of the cast stands out to create memorable characters. The only one that I didn’t feel stepped up to the plate was Josh Jones who played William Barfee. I feel like Jones was cast for his voice which show cases many of his talents, but he was the only cast member that was not convincing as a middle schooler.
The choreography is a fun twist. This play isn’t known for it’s dancing, but Clawson’s choice to add dance sequences Choreographed by Donna Jewell made for a fun and exciting show. Because of the energy the dancing provides to the performance, I feel that this is one of the better version of this play that I’ve seen.
The Set Design by Inseung Park and Costume Design by Kevin Thornburg worked perfectly to create a colorful, cartoony world.
Over all this show is just plane fun. I would suggest this play for anyone, even if you're not a regular theater goer. It’s fairly short for a musical only lasting 90 minutes. It’s also well paced leaving no dull moments. Because of some of the mature humor, parental guidance is suggested when bringing children.
You can see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Rodey Theater on April 23rd, 28th and 29th at 7:30pm or 24th, and 30th at 2:00pm