Can you spell “F – U – N”?
Wednesday, November 15 thru Friday, November 17, 2017 El Paseo Arts kicks off its first local actor production of the season with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony award-winning musical! Doors open at 6:30 PM at the South Padre Island Convention Center with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, and the show starts at 7:30.
Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor as a group of students (played by adults) vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing touching stories from their home life, the eclectic group of six pubescents (and some audience volunteers) spell their way through a series of words hoping to never hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. It’s a riotous ride complete with audience participation.
The Spelling Bee cast includes some of your favorite local actors. Returning to the stage are Julie Boughter as Rona Lisa Perretti, the bee hostess and former bee champion herself, and Dave Boughter as William Barfee, a boy trying to make a comeback after being eliminated the year before because of a peanut allergy. Rick Alf plays Chip Tolentino, a Boy Scout and defending champion from the year before, and Kat Lillie takes on the role of Olive Ostrovsky, an only child with often-absent parents. Carolyn Porter is Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere, an intense and stressed out 10 year old with two dads, and Paul Cardile is Leaf Coneybear, a home-schooled second-alternate with a bit of Attention Deficit Disorder. New cast members from last season include Mark Shellard as Douglas Panch, a less-than-excited vice principal called in to substitute as the word reader, and Chuck Hofmeister as Mitch Mahoney, the official bee “comfort counselor”. Marsha Sargeant makes her EPAF debut as Marcy Park, the ultimate overachiever.
Oh the years of awkward adolescence. Who doesn’t look back on that time and cringe? No one! Which is why The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the perfect combination of hilarity and poignancy. The Bee is an unforgettable experience. It’s a fast-paced crowd pleaser with fun music, audience participation and loads of laughs. The best way to describe Spelling Bee is that it is hilarious, H–I–L–A–R–I–O–U–S!
Tickets are $30 per person for non-members or $25 for El Paseo Arts members and are on sale now at Paragraphs Bookstore, S.O.S., PadreRitaGrill, the Art Gallery in Lighthouse Square and online at www.elpaseoarts.org.