Spelling Bee, Circle in the Square, 8/23/ 3. to think CONEYBEAR AT THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE SCHWARZY WE FEEL NO. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Six awkward . Normally played by the spellers and audience volunteers as indicated in the script. Olive’s Dad. 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 .
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In a high school gym, long time hostess, Rona Lisa Peretti, finalizes the preparations for the annual county spelling bee, reminiscing about her own spelling bee victory, many years prior. The contestants include last year’s champ, Chip a boy scoutAnnuap the youngest and most politically aware contestantConeybear the somewhat wide-eyed offspring of hippie parentsBarfee an allergy-plagued studentMarcy an over-achieving Asian-American and Olive a tentative newcomer.
Rona also calls on four volunteers from the audience to join the competition these are real audience members who have been selected through an interview process before the show.
Barfee rudely fends off Olive’s attempts to befriend him. Rona introduces Vice Principal Douglas Panch, a last-minute substitute word pronouncer, and Mitch Mahoney, a menacing ex-con who is serving as “Comfort Counselor” as a part of his community service sentence. Panch, Rona and the spellers review the contest’s elimination-style rules “The Rules”. As the students are individually called upon, Rona provides color commentary, revealing background info about each of them. A flashback reveals that Coneybear only made in into this contest because his school’s winner and first runner-up were unable to attend due to a Bar Mitzvah.
He appears to have no hope of spelling words correctly, but snaps into abrupt trances, during which he performs perfectly.
Olive reflects on a lonely childhood, where her main source of companionship and spelling excellence was a dictionary “My Friend the Dictionary”. The audience volunteers are also called upon to participate. Volunteers who answer incorrectly scrkpt eliminated “Goodbye 1”. Barfee uses a bizarre “magic foot” technique to spell his words.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Rona reveals that Marcy placed high in the ranking for last year’s national spelling bee, impressing all of the contestants. One of the audience volunteers is asked to spell “cow,” prompting outrage from the contestants. The contest swings into high gear “Pandemonium” as Panch requests spellings for words that vary enormously in their level of difficulty.
A flashback reveals Schwarzy, drilling for the contest with her two overbearing gay dads. Coneybear, for the second consecutive time, is asked to spell a word annhal to South American rodents. He confesses that his family does not consider him to be particularly intelligent “I’m Not That Smart”.
Barfee calls spellinv his magic foot technique to help him spell the word, “hasenpfeffer” “Magic Foot”. By this point in the contest, all but 255th of the audience volunteers have probably been eliminated. Chip is eliminated after getting distracted by seeing Coneybear’s attractive sister, Marigold, in the audience “Pandemonium — Reprise”.
Mitch escorts him from the stage “Chip Goodbye”. The final ptunam volunteer is eliminated when asked to spell a ridiculously difficult word.
Mitch consoles the loser “Prayer of the Comfort Counselor”. During a snack break, Chip distributes free candy to the audience and laments the fact that his sexual arousal cost him a victory in the spelling bee “My Unfortunate Erection”. As spellinf break ends and the bee resumes, Schwarzy reflects on the tremendous pressure placed on her by her dads “Woe Is Me”.
A lighting-fast blaze of spelling ensues, and Coneybear is eliminated when he fails to spell chinchilla correctly “I’m Not That Smart — Reprise”.
Rona reveals that Marcy speaks six languages.
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Marcy is exasperated at always being thought of as superior in every way “I Speak Six Languages”. She is asked to spell the word, “camouflage,” whereupon she rhetorically exclaims “Dear Jesus, can’t you come up with a harder word than that? Marcy, relieved, deliberately misspells her word, joyfully eliminating herself. Only Schwarzy, Olive and Barfee remain. Olive receives a phone call from her dad. Taking advantage of the pause, Schwarzy seizes the microphone and makes a political statement.
One of Schwarzy’s dads attempts to sabotage Barfee by pouring a can of Coke onto the stage, hoping the stickiness will immobilize Barfee’s magic foot. Olive is given the word “chimerical,” which means “wildly fanciful and highly unrealistic.
Barfee’s magic foot is foiled by the spilled Coke, but he manages to spell “crepuscule” correctly anyway. Schwarzy is eliminated “Woe is Me — Reprise”.
Only two spellers remain, and Rona is breathless with excitement “Rona Moment 3”. After a volley of correctly spelled words, Olive misspells a word “Second, Part One” and Barfee hesitates before claiming victory, sensitive to Olive’s feelings.
Olive reassures him, and he claims the victory. Rona is moved by Panch’s kind gesture. Olive and Barfee warmly congratulate each other. A series of epilogues reveal the future fates of the characters and explains how their experiences during the spelling bee shaped each of their lives “Finale”.
Logainne is the youngest and most politically aware speller, often making comments about current political figures. She is driven by internal and external pressure, but above all by a desire to win to make her two fathers proud.
She is somewhat of a neat freak, speaks with a lisp, and will be back next year. The ultimate over-achiever, Marcy has never been given another option. She comes from a family where excellence is expected and so simply produced.
Ad-libs for 25th annual putnam county spelling bee script. (Message Board)
A parochial school student, she assumes God, too, expects perfection. She sees herself as a mass of problems but she keeps them to herself. Having moved often because of her parents’ work, she knows she can beat the local competition. Impressed by what she saw, Wasserstein suggested to friend, William Finn, that he may be able to take the show to the next level. In Februarya workshop was held, in which a first act and parts of a second act were created. In Julythe script was fleshed out and the show was given a fuller production with direction by Feldman and Michael Unger and choreography by Dan Knechtges.
Opening for previews on January 11,and officially on February 7,Spelling Bee received glowing reviews, sold out its limited engagement, broke box office records at Second Stage, and extended its run. Then, with its eye on Broadway, the musical concluded its short but successful Off-Broadway stint on March 20, One month later, on April 15,Spelling Bee transferred to Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre, again receiving outstanding critical and box-office achievement.
The show closed on January 20,after 1, performances and has since lived on with huge success in two national tours, numerous international productions and regional productions at such theaters as Drury Lane, North Shore Music Theatre, Barrington Stage and Playhouse on the Square.
Gold stars all around. 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. The American musical comedy — with equal emphasis on the ‘musical’ part and the ‘comedy’ part — is alive and well A treat and a half.
Lucille Lortel Archives Original. Playbill Vault Broadway Premiere. Norwegian production official website. Skip to main content.
Six awkward spelling champions learn that winning and losing isn’t everything. Rona is excited by the unexpected early elimination of last year’s champ “Rona Moment 2”.
An athletic, social, boy scout and champion of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, he returns to defend his title, but he finds puberty hitting at an inopportune moment. The second runner-up in his district, Leaf gets into the competition on a lark and finds everything about the bee incredibly amusing. He is home-schooled and comes from a large family of former hippies. He has severe Attention Deficit Disorder and spells words correctly while in a trance.
A Putnam County Spelling Bee finalist last year, he was eliminated because of an allergic reaction to peanuts and is back for vindication. His famous “Magic Foot” method of spelling has boosted him to spelling glory, even though he only has one working nostril and a touchy, bullying personality. He develops a crush on Olive. A young newcomer to competitive spelling. Her mother is in an ashram in India, and her father is working late, as usual, but he is trying to come sometime during the bee.
Having found comfort in its words and vastness, Olive made friends with her dictionary at a very young age, helping her to make it to the competition. She starts enormously shy, and shyly blossoms. She is a sweet woman who loves children, but she can be very stern when it comes to dealing with Vice Principal Panch and his feelings for her. Her interest in the competition is unflagging and drives it forward. Frustrated with his life, he finds the drive of the young spellers alien to him.
After five years’ absence from the Bee, Panch returns as judge. There was an “incident” at the Twentieth Annual Bee, but he claims to be in “a better place” now, thanks to a high-fiber diet and Jungian analysis. He is infatuated with Rona Lisa Peretti, but she does not be his affections. The Official Comfort Counselor. An ex-convict, Mitch is performing his community service with the Bee, and hands out juice boxes to losing students.
He has no idea how to offer comfort, but does find himself wishing he could spellung a way to make the kids feel better.
Ad-libs for 25th annual putnam county spelling bee script.
Schwarzy’s main trainer, the more intense and competitive of Schwarzy’s fathers. Normally played by actor playing Leaf. Normally played hee the actor playing Mitch.
Deity invoked by a speller in need. Normally played by the actor playing Chip. All more academically gifted than Leaf, they are even more surprised scri;t he is by his success. Normally played by the spellers and audience volunteers as indicated in the script. A fantasy version of Olive’s dad coming to the bee from work. A fantasy version of Olive’s mom at her Ashram in India.