RLT’s Spell­ing Bee opens Fri­day at DeSoto

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

The Broad­way mu­si­cal “The 25th An­nual Put­nam County Spell­ing Bee” will run through Sept. 10.

Spell­ing Bee hopes and dreams are on the line as Rome Little The­atre kicks off its 61st season with the Broad­way mu­si­cal “The 25th An­nual Put­nam County Spell­ing Bee.”

The show opens Fri­day and runs through Sept. 10 at the His­toric DeSoto The­atre.

The witty and heart­warm­ing mu­si­cal tells the tale of six el­e­men­tary school stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in the highly com­pet­i­tive lo­cal spell­ing bee. The spell­ers en­ter the bee with their own in­di­vid­ual hopes and dreams, and ul­ti­mately face their own chal­lenges. Un­der the su­per­vi­sion of three hi­lar­i­ous adults, Vice Prin­ci­pal Dou­glas Panch (Michael Hill­man), com­fort coun­selor Mimi Ma­honey (Beth McCain), and for­mer Put­nam County Spell­ing Bee Cham­pion Rona Lisa Peretti (Mae­gan Wil­liams), the spell­ers share de­tails of their own story and com­pete for the win­ning tro­phy.

The show is di­rected by Lillian Shaw and pro­duced by Jamie Lan­ders.

“It’s a bunch of adults pre­tend­ing to be pre­teens, so there’s def­i­nitely an el­e­ment of silli­ness to it,” Shaw said. “But the har­monies are com­plex and beau­ti­ful, the di­a­logue is witty and fast­paced, and the char­ac­ters are so real and funny. This show is one of the smartest mu­si­cals out there, and it’s per­fect for a community the­atre set­ting like we have at RLT.”

Shaw prom­ises that au­di­ences will fall in love with the true-to-life quirk­i­ness of each of the bee’s ado­les­cent par­tic­i­pants — the shy Olive Ostro­vsky (Sophia Veser), the tem­per­a­men­tal Wil­liam Bar­fee (James Swend­sen), pre­co­cious Lo­gainne Schwartzand­grube­nierre (Ha­ley Pendle­ton), mul­ti­tal­ented Marcy Park (Holly Thomas), ec­cen­tric Leaf Coney­bear (Zac Mitchell), and for­mer cham­pion Char­l­ito “Chip” To­lentino (Rus­sell Evans). “Spell­ing Bee” re­minds us of the pres­sure of ado­les­cence and shows us that los­ing doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily make you a loser.

RLT’s “The 25 An­nual Put­nam County Spell­ing Bee” runs Fri­day through Sept. 10 at the DeSoto The­atre. Fri­day and Satur­day per­for­mances be­gin at 8 p.m. and the Sun­day mati­nees be­gin at 2:30 p.m.

Tick­ets are $16 for adults, $14 for stu­dents and se­niors, and $12 for chil­dren. Tick­ets can be pur­chased by vis­it­ing romelit­tlethe­atre.com or by call­ing the Rome Little The­atre box of­fice at 706-2957171. This pro­duc­tion is rated PG-13, and adult guid­ance is rec­om­mended for younger au­di­ence mem­bers.

Photo by Clarissa Brink­ley

James Swend­sen (left) and Michael Hill­man at a pro­mo­tional shoot for RLT’s up­com­ing pro­duc­tion of “The 25th An­nual Put­nam County Spell­ing Bee.” The show opens Fri­day.

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