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S-C student reviews ‘Spelling Bee’

March 28, 2011

in Theater

By Jessi Rigdon of
Smith-Cotton High School

W-I-N-N-E-R Not every participant in a spelling bee can be a winner. Each of them all fear the sound of the bell that will signify their elimination from the competition.

In Sacred Heart High School’s production of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE on March 26, 2011, that bell rings thirteen times as nine contestants and four audience members are eliminated.

First performed officially on Broadway in May of 2005, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE started as a non-musical play entitled C-R-E-P-U-S-U-L-E.

Once transformed into a full length musical, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE had its first performance in a cafeteria turned theater.

Telling the story of six adolescents struggling with growing up, and overseen by adults who have problems of their own, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE captures the attention of every audience member.

William Barfee (played by Jesse Carroll) is a very motivated character who uses his “magic foot” to spell out words. He is determined to win, but discovers that winning is not everything, and second place is not all that bad. Olive Ostrovsky (played by Allie Martin) is a spunky young girl who wants nothing more than to compete in the Bee.

Even when she is disappointed by her parents’ absence, Olive (Martin) works to compete in the finals against William Barfee (Carroll).

While many characters have equally sized roles, some that stood out were Leaf Coneybear (played by Aaron Church), and the young Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere (played by Anna Wendt). Between the character of Leaf’s colorful clothing, his ever present cow hand puppet, or his spelling outbursts, Church always had the audience laughing.

Portraying the youngest character, Anna Wendt has a very entertaining personality that shows audience members how even the young have drama. Wendt’s vocals were always spot on and her many funny little quirks were very enjoyable.

The set, designed by Aaron Church, is a very simple design including a set of bleachers for contestants, as well as a “Comfort Area” where the eliminated contestants were sent to.

Many of the technical aspects ran very smoothly. While there were a few microphone issues, all the performers worked through the problems and prevailed in the end.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLIN BEE is a show that is funny and entertaining, but still family appropriate. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a show for a W-I-N-N-E-R.

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